Practical Playbook

Public Health and Primary Care Together

Grant Amount: $5,765,975
Recipient: Duke University

On March 5, 2014, the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Practical Playbook website. The Practical Playbook is a free, web-based tool designed to facilitate public health and primary care integration through a wide variety of resources for primary care providers and public health officials.

By building on local successes, sharing lessons learned, and offering concrete guidelines for executing a public health project, the Practical Playbook initiative is working to advance public health and primary care integration throughout the United States. The Practical Playbook follows in the footsteps of many studies showing that public health and primary care integration can better manage chronic illness, increase quality of care, and keep health care costs in check.

In February 2015, The de Beaumont Foundation funded Phase II of the Practical Playbook project. While building on the successes of the first year of work, during Phase II we will seek to enhance the Practical Playbook’s role as a central point of coordination for national efforts to facilitate greater collaboration between primary care and public health.  In addition to enhancing the website to become an online community where public health and primary care practitioners can access support from primary care and public health leaders, the project will develop innovative learning tools for those in the field and will work alongside workforce development programs to strengthen training for cross-sectorial disciplines in population health.  In addition, the project will host a national summit on integration in the spring of 2016.

As the Practical Playbook rolls out new initiatives, it also plays a central role in the BUILD Health Challenge, a national award program funded by the de Beaumont Foundation, the Advisory Board Company, the Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Colorado Health Foundation. The BUILD Health Challenge awarded grants to 18 communities in which a local health system, health department, and nonprofit organization have partnered to address the upstream determinants of health.

The Practical Playbook has a leadership role in providing technical assistance to the BUILD Health Challenge grantees in partnership with three other organizations: the Housing Partnership Network, the Prevention Institute, and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care TogetherThe Practical Playbook updated and compiled the best of its online resources into a textbook, released in October 2015. The Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together is a roadmap for collaboration between primary care providers, public health professionals, and more. The textbook explores the steps public health and primary care professionals can take to improve population health in case studies, practical recommendations, data resources, and commentaries from national leaders in practice and academia. The book is available through Amazon and Oxford University Press.

In addition to the textbook, the Practical Playbook has also been used by many universities and programs as a teaching tool. In Fall 2015, the Practical Playbook announced the Learning in Action Curriculum Competition, funded by the de Beaumont Foundation, and in November, Dr. Rebekah Gee, MD, MPH, MS, was announced as the winner of the $5,000 prize for her winning entry focused on hot-spotting techniques that allow hospitals to identify frequent users and find ways to make their treatments more effective and less costly. Dr. Gee’s curriculum was used in a graduate level course at the School of Public Health at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU). Lillian Smith, DrPH, MPH, with the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at the West Virginia University School of Public Health, and a team consisting of Mia Ramirez, MPH, from Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Erik Wallace, MD, FACP, with the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs Branch) School of Medicine, were announced as runners up.

In October 2015, the de Beaumont Foundation, in association with the Practical Playbook and Health 2.0, issued a call to programmers, developers, UI/UX designers, and more to “Close the Data Divide” between public health professionals and primary care providers. The Closing the Data Divide Challenge offered $60,000 in prize money to those who could find innovative and accessible ways to facilitate the exchange of data between primary care and public health entities. Watch Program Officer Catherine Patterson announce the challenge at the Health 2.0 meeting below.

Winners were announced in May 2016 at the Practical Playbook National Meeting. Learn more here.

In May 2016, the Practical Playbook brought together key stakeholders from across sectors to catalyze a national movement, accelerate collaborations by fostering skill development and connect like-minded individuals and organizations to drive population health improvement. Bringing Public Health and Primary Care Together: The Practical Playbook National Meeting was a milestone event towards advancing robust collaborations that improve population health. Learn more here.

While there has been considerable support for the concept of integration, there have been limited practical tools for the implementation. The Playbook offers a comprehensive approach to transform the relationship between the public health and primary care sectors.


Tools & Resources