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Expanding Innovation with AmericaServes Practice360: AmericaServes Introduces its 2019 Regional Community of Practice Lead RFP Opportunity*

*For AmericaServes and Affiliated Communities Only

By Colonel (U.S. Army, Ret) Jim McDonough, Managing Director, IVMF

With only a couple of weeks before the AmericaServes ‘family’ descends upon Dallas, Texas, for our second annual national learning symposium, I want to share some background information regarding an opportunity that’s been under development for the past year to help further shape our Practice360 to its fullest potential. My intent in doing so is to ‘arm’ you with sufficient information so that you come prepared for a larger discussion about this opportunity when we meet in Dallas.

First, Some Background: Earlier this year at an NCServes-Central In-Progress Review (IPR) held in Sanford, North Carolina, our Carolinas networks and IVMF teammates organized a companion AmericaServes Southeast Regional discussion. This successful gathering was an early example of how our communities could consolidate their AmericaServes footprints into geographically distinct regions as a means of collecting, curating and disseminating knowledge unique to the AmericaServes model of service and care coordination. Their idea was simple: in our collective numbers there is greater strength. In this case, the strength desired was our ability to ‘move’ knowledge from one AmericaServes community to another in practice-like fashion, to better advance the performance of every AmericaServes community.

The conversation that day was organized in a manner that saw every AmericaServes community in the Southeast region articulate its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) to then begin prioritizing the region’s capacity to work collectively, above a market-by-market approach, to introduce key learnings, practice and knowledge across a region. One element discovered that day was that to better advance the emerging practice underpinning AmericaServes, an effort was needed to enhance the capacity – the organizational ability – to serve military connected individuals best. Within that, the idea of introducing broad, practice-related professional development opportunities for AmericaServes communities emerged as an opportunity the region wanted to pursue.

Listening to that from-the-ground-up discussion jump-started an effort to think of our AmericaServes Practice360 framework as having three practice-related dimensions that would uniquely support our efforts to focus collectively on increasing the performance of AmericaServes networks. We also realized that AmericaServes was evolving beyond its initial, ‘let’s build networks in communities’ to something more: a nationally-facing, collective effort that ideally could forever alter the future of health and human service delivery in this nation.

That’s a big idea. And for that idea to have ‘legs,’ we approached our partner, Kathy Cox, and the Walmart Foundation, with a simple idea: could they provide additional resources into our communities to help us support the practice now underway in AmericaServes? The Foundation has a good history of supporting a Community of Practice approach within the National Retail Federation, so we thought maybe a similar approach might be possible within the nationally-facing AmericaServes ‘federation.’

The Opportunity: Today, we’re pleased to announce that in response, the Walmart Foundation has approved an additional $600,000 in funding over the next 27 months to ‘seed’ the support required for the regional dimension to AmericaServes Practice360 in ways that enhance organizational capacity and help professionally develop our AmericaServes teammates nationwide.

To begin socializing the opportunity, we’ve included a link here to the actual Request for Proposal and encourage our partners to read it carefully before arriving in Dallas. We’re also sharing a briefing deck that Kathy and I will be using to walk everyone through the opportunity itself. This specific RFP focuses on the Regional Communities of Practice. AmericaServes regions – the Southeast, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and West – are regional Communities of Practice that collaborate and depend on learnings from the local and national communities of practice to inform the work. The IVMF’s forward- looking approach to the Regional Community of Practice is to focus on professional development and training at a regional level, in order to empower AmericaServes practitioners to better their practice. This is provider-centered training, built and driven by providers to best fulfill their needs as they meet the needs of service members, veterans and their families.

The IVMF is releasing this Request for Proposal (RFP) to select five Regional Practice Champions from across the nation. We are requesting Coordination Centers among AmericaServes’ current and affiliate networks to take part in a bidding and selection process. The goal of this RFP process is to gauge interest and determine the readiness/capacity of responding Coordination Centers to take on this additional opportunity and challenge of being chosen as one of five Regional Community of Practice leaders. Our goal is to strengthen the professional development and capacity of each AmericaServes network, including the network that is successfully selected as the Regional Practice Champion. The bidding process will solicit applications by interested Coordination Centers from

AmericaServes’ Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, and West regions and IVMF will fund one successful Coordination Center in each region to serve as the Regional Practice Champion. The selection process will be directed by a Committee comprised of your peers and partnering organizations who will be assembled to evaluate your proposal.

Each Regional Practice Champion will develop and deliver clear initiatives to professionally upskill and develop providers on the ground for the respective regions under their purview. The primary objective of each Regional Practice Champion is to build and develop professional development activities in their region (either the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, or Western region), allowing for improved engagement with providers within each region and strengthened relationships between Coordination Centers and providers. However, in order to do this, it is critical to ensure the participation of providers to choose the topics that they would like to cover as well as to actually co-generate the professional development topics and opportunities.

The proposed program is focused on building tailored training to providers across the AmericaServes regions. More broadly, the objective is to upskill providers to improve overall capacity, network health, and provider engagement across the region. The end result will be a cascading strengthening across and up the entire initiative: stronger network providers; stronger Coordination Centers; and a stronger national program. A more detailed breakdown of proposed (not exhaustive) professional development activities is listed in this proposal.

RFP Timeline:

Activity:
RFP Release: On or about October 15, 2018
Implement Coordination Center Application and Selection Process: October 15 – November 15, 2018
Q&A Webinar for RFP: November 1, 2018
RFP Close Date: November 15, 2018
Final Selection Decision for Regional Practice Champions Released: November 30, 2018
Orientation and Initial Introduction to Program: December 15, 2018
Official Program Launch, Pilot Year Commences: January 1, 2019
In Person Training for Regional Champion: January 28, 2019
Internal Pilot Year Assessment and Evaluation: November 1, 2019
Pilot Year Concludes, Renewal Year 2 Commences: January 1, 2020

Financial Model: The budget narrative should be scoped for 24 months, with the project launch to commence on January 1, 2019 and span until January 1, 2021. The total budget should not exceed

$50,000 for the duration of the first year of project implementation, and $100,000 total over the course of the 2-year project timeline. For one year, each Regional Practice Champion will be sub- awarded $50,000. This will total to $500,000 in funding over the course of the 2-year initiative. The high- level budget breakdown is captured in the table below.

We’ll be discussing this opportunity more fully in Dallas, for now, please study the RFP and come prepared with your questions. We’ve planned a robust agenda for our first annual learning symposium and the discussion being planned around this opportunity will be key to creating greater shared responsibility amongst our AmericaServes team, now 16 communities strong, with more in the works!

Thanks and see you in Dallas!

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