About our annual conference

About Putting Care at the Center

Putting Care at the Center is an opportunity for the national complex care community to learn, network, and create a shared agenda for the growing field of complex care.

This conference is interprofessional and cross-sector by design. We welcome consumers, providers, administrators, researchers, policymakers, caregivers, students, and others who are working to improve care for people with complex health and social needs. Attendees work in a diverse range of sectors and institutions including healthcare systems, community-based organizations, behavioral health and social service providers, advocacy organizations, health plans, foundations, universities, and local, state, and federal government agencies.

What is complex care?

Complex care seeks to improve health and well-being for people with complex health and social needs by coordinating and reshaping care delivery at the individual, community, and system levels. It addresses root causes of poor health through interdisciplinary care teams and cross-sector partnerships that deliver person-centered care based around participants’ own goals and priorities. These root causes extend beyond physical health and well-being to include social determinants of health including poverty, trauma, housing and/or food insecurity, and lack of access to care.

A complex care approach identifies and documents where and who the existing delivery system fails to adequately serve, and seeks to build interdependent ecosystems of care to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of these populations and the community at-large.

To see different results we must deliver care that is:

  •  Person-centered: In complex care, individuals’ values and preferences guide all aspects of their care, supporting their realistic health and life goals.
  •  Equitable: Complex care recognizes structural barriers to health, including systemic, institutional, and interpersonal racism, bias, and other forms of discrimination, and supports individuals and communities to overcome them.
  •  Cross-sector: Complex care works to break down the silos dividing fields, sectors, and specialties, and to build the integrated ecosystem necessary to provide whole-person care.
  • Team-based: Complex care is delivered through interprofessional, non-traditional, and inclusive teams of medical, behavioral health, and social service providers, led by the individual themselves.
  • Data-driven: Complex care freely shares timely, cross-sector data across team members and partners to identify individuals, enable effective support of consumer goals, and evaluate success.

For more information about what complex care looks like in practice, see the core competencies for complex care providers. The core competencies were unveiled at our 2020 Putting Care at the Center conference and describe the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that complex care providers need across discipline, sector, and context.

Putting Care at the Center Conference planning committee
  • LaKeesha Dumas, Multnomah County Mental Health and Addictions Services Division
  • Bonnie Ewald, Rush University Medical Center
  • Dennis Heaphy, Disability Policy Consortium
  • Jim Hickman, Hickman Strategies
  • Stephen Hoy, PFCC Partners
  • Melinda Karp, Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Kathy Moses, Center for Health Care Strategies
  • Tanya Shah, Consultant
  • Kathy Stillo, Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Alayna Tillman, USC Family Caregiver Support Center
  • Michelle Wong, Kaiser Permanente

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