What Is it?
Throughout the history of both institutions, Lehigh Valley Hospital – Pocono (LVH-P) and East Stroudsburg University (ESU) have worked together to address the health and social needs of our community and the region. There is a natural alignment between the institutions that allows for collaboration on both educational and service endeavors
The LVH-P / ESU Learning Collaborative challenges both institutions to go beyond the traditional educational collaborations and develop a multi-faceted partnership. This new partnership takes the form of a Learning Collaborative, which is defined as --
...a situation in which two or more institutions learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, etc.). More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles.
How does it work?
The collaborative is facilitated by a Collaboration Steering Team. The team consists of 4 appointed members of the ESU community and 4 appointed members of the LVH-P community for a total of 8 members, including a facilitator and a facilitator-elect. The steering team serves as the clearing house for new ideas and as generator of new ideas and activities. As any member of each community identify potential collaborative activities, they are suggested to the steering group who channel it to appropriate collaborating units at the respective institutions. The steering group can also use the institutions’ strategic plan to generate ideas for future development.
Existing Collaborative Activities
In addition to existing collaboration through internships and clinical placements, ESU and LVH-P have expanded the collaboration through more in-depth projects.
Community Health Assessment
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU), in partnership with Lehigh Valley Hospital – Pocono completed the second Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of the Poconos in May of 2017. The goal of the CHNA is to assess the overall health status and health needs of the local community, what health care services are actively being used and what actions need to be taken in the future to address these needs. The CHNA used input from the community in order to get a better understanding of the specific health concerns. In order to obtain the community’s input, ESU and LVH-P conducted a series of focus groups and key informant interviews across Monroe County. Previous CHNA data collection also incorporated household surveys and health-related information collected via a customized App. Collectively, these enabled residents of the Poconos to provide their views about the health of the region.
Health Coaches Program
An innovative partnership between East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono aims to improve the lives of patients and curb readmissions by training a select group of volunteer students to act as health coaches. The ESU students – many of whom are going on to health science careers – visit the patients in their homes to help them follow their doctor’s advice. According to Dr. Jonathan Goldner, “We all know when patients leave the hospital, they want to get out of there, they want to get home and they don’t always hear the instructions very well.” The program has been shown to reduce hospitalization by significant levels.
Lehigh Valley Health Network-Pocono Healthy Lifestyle Challenge
This annual collaborative community-based program between Lehigh Valley Health Network-Pocono and East Stroudsburg University’s Department of Exercise Science provides community members with education and support to assist in healthy weight loss and increasing mobility. The Clinical Exercise Physiology graduate students and volunteers from LVHN-Pocono work under the direction of program founder Musa Tangoren, MD to provide educational seminars, weigh-ins, and group support over 6-months.