Magazine article Policy & Practice

APHSA's Innovation Center - a Pathway for Breakthrough Practices

Magazine article Policy & Practice

APHSA's Innovation Center - a Pathway for Breakthrough Practices

Article excerpt

As we leave winter behind us (albeit a mild one for most of the country) and enter into the beautiful months of Spring, I am reminded of the importance of new beginnings and the sense of hope that can come from a fresh perspective. That's true, even here in the nation's capital where despite the gridlock and polarization, the blooming of the Japanese cherry blossoms brightens everyone's days and fills the area with folks from across the country and the world.

It is with that spirit that I am pleased to share with you APHSA's plans to launch a "virtual innovation center" that will serve as the Association's launching pad for emerging issues and breakthrough innovations in human services. Through the APHSA Innovation Center, we hope to help support transformation of human services to an integrated, outcomefocused model as set forth in our national agenda, Pathways. As introduced to you in the last issue, Pathways: The Opportunities Ahead for Human Services is our members' national agenda aimed to move the health and human service field forward in support of the following four outcomes: (1) achieving gainful employment and independence; (2) stronger families, adults, and communities; (3) healthier families, adults, and communities; and (4) the sustained well-being of children and youth.

The role of the center is to provide a "place" to introduce cutting-edge ideas and support members and other leaders in thoughtful, focused experimentation and discussion that helps create a new national narrative and position our membership on the leading edge of system transformation. In this inaugural year we will focus on the following four areas that are central to meeting the challenges of today's human service system, especially if we are to achieve lasting change that results in improved outcomes for those we serve and moves us to a more sustainable path.

Alternative Financing of Human Services. Helping our members, and the system as a whole, fund health and human service work in different ways than it is done traditionally. This includes all aspects of funding health and human services from the federal and state to local levels as well as across the public-private sectors. It includes bringing new resources (e.g., funds, infrastructure, materials, people) to the field and leveraging existing resources differently.

Adaptive Leadership. Helping our members lead transformative change in their communities and the field at large. …

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