Practice Transformation Partners’ Project Director Alexia Eslan Explains Her Team’s Work on PHMI, and Their Focus to Expand CHC Capacity

Interview with Alexia Eslan, Project Director for Practice Transformation Partners

What is the Practice Transformation Partners’ role in PHMI?

Our team is focused on supporting the PHMI cohort of community health centers (CHCs) as they move into their work on populations of focus by creating a learning community supported by training and technical assistance, practice transformation coaching, health information technology, and resources. All our work is grounded in equity and looking at whole person health. We are thinking not only about the near-term work but how to sustain it over time.

Who are the Practice Transformation Partners? What are their backgrounds?

We are five organizations united under the umbrella of Practice Transformation (PT) Partners. We all bring a deep bench of experience in population health management, as well as having unique domains of expertise. A quick summary of each organization:

  • JSI is an organization of public health care and health systems consultants and researchers who are driven by a passion to improve health services and outcomes for all. A global organization, JSI’s offices in California and Colorado are supporting PHMI with a focus on project management, national and statewide subject matter expertise, coaching, and peer learning. JSI also provides oversight and infrastructure for the PT Partners.
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a global leader in health care quality improvement. Their team is creating a set of PHMI Populations of Focus implementation guides, as well as training and technical assistance curriculum. They’ll be leading the Learning Action Network (LAN) for CHCs, which will provide regional and statewide peer learning opportunities. The first statewide Learning Forum will take place in early 2024.
  • Center for Care Innovations sparks, seeds, and spreads innovations that strengthen the health and well-being of historically underinvested communities. Their team is collaborating with JSI to provide coaching for CHCs, connect PHMI to other initiatives and efforts in California, and spotlight innovative practices. They bring strong statewide relationships, health information technology, and peer learning experience to the partnership.
  • AllianceChicago is a team of innovators in personal, community, and public health. They will provide practice transformation and health information coaching to the CHCs, including implementation of population health management software. Additionally, they will provide technical assistance to CHCs interested in adopting Innovaccer.
  • Center for Excellence in Primary Care, based at University of California, San Francisco, will be supporting the PHMI coaches and subject matter experts (SMEs) with onboarding, training, and eventually creation of a coaching academy. They will work closely with the JSI and CCI coaches to track what’s working and what isn’t across PHMI, share promising practices, and create shared learning opportunities.

PT Partners Roles & Leads

What’s your philosophy around doing this work?

It starts with meeting the CHCs where they are at and building on existing capacity. That means deep listening, co-designing our engagements with individual CHCs based on their needs, and being responsive as those needs change. We know there is enormous expertise and capacity within the CHCs, which we augment by sharing national best and innovative practices, including Kaiser Permanente’s best practices, and resources and tools we have designed with and for historically underinvested communities.

What work are you focused on now?

We’re currently in a learning space, interviewing key people at the Regional Associations of California (RACs), participating CHCs, and California Primary Care Association (CPCA) to identify needs and determine what coaching and peer-learning approach will be the best fit. We are also spending a lot of time learning about the work that has already taken place. We want to build on what is working and create new opportunities for learning and transforming. The Population Health Management Capabilities Assessment Tool (PhmCAT) plays a key role in that work, helping us understand the current capacities of the CHCs, and how we can support expansion over the course of the initiative. At this early stage, it’s really about developing strong, collaborative relationships.

What about PHMI and working with the CHCs is your team most excited about?

This work is so high-impact. Every single person on the PT Partners team is invested in the greater PHMI vision, centering equity, supporting the CHCs, and improving care for the populations of focus. The fact that the whole initiative is community-centered and serving families across California excites us. Our guiding principles are to meet CHCs where they are at, build on what already exists, and support CHCs to be effective agents for change within their organizations and the communities they work in and with.