Community Cafés: Conversations That Matter

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What if we asked families what they needed to strengthen their relationships with their healthcare providers and what if we acted on it? This was the driving thought behind the Community Cafe Initiative. This change project was the result of my team participation in the 2015 Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Program.

Community Cafes are small group gatherings where structured conversations around specific topics are held and community-based solutions are identified.  It is a participant-driven discussion that empowers community members by asking about their experiences or solutions to specific topics.

For example, a Community Cafe can focus on parents’ perceptions around their children’s health care experience, or their understanding of the impact of chronic absenteeism on student success.  The point is that the discussion is community-driven.  Asking the experts, our families, to create community-driven solutions empowers them by giving their perspective a voice.

Hosting Community Cafes to understand the family perspective in their healthcare experience can create a synergy that leads to sustainable change.   The most rewarding and exceptional outcome of the Community Cafe Initiative is that a grassroots collaboration has formed that includes the voices of families, community members, providers and school nurses.  What began as a conversation has grown into a method to address barriers to care for our most vulnerable population, our children.

Click here to watch a brief video about the: Community Cafe Initiative

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To find out more about hosting your own Community Cafe, please contact us!