Complex care core competencies

Skills all frontline complex care providers need across discipline, profession, and context

Building the complex care field Education & training Workforce development

Clinical practice for people with complex needs means understanding what ‘health’ actually means to them and what is aligned with their values and desired outcomes. It requires understanding their home and social environment, and having an interdisciplinary team that understands, addresses, and communicates around those needs. Toyin Ajayi, Cityblock Health

In October 2020, our National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs released the first-ever set of core competencies designed for the complex care field.

The competencies apply across discipline, profession, and context, and are meant for all providers who work with people with complex health and social needs.

Core competency domains:

  • Human complexity and context
  • Personal and professional commitment and ethics
  • Person-centered, relationship-powered care
  • Integrated team collaboration
  • Diverse information management
  • Systems complexity and context

For a complete listing of the complex care core competencies, download the report:

Developing the core competencies

Learn more about the core competencies and hear from working group members on how they can be applied to your work in this video from our Putting Care at the Center 2020 conference.

Association support:

  • America’s Essential Hospitals
  • American Academy of Pediatrics – New Jersey Chapter
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • American Society for Consultant Pharmacists
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Association


Feedback form

Tell us how you use the complex care core competencies to advance your own practice at the individual, team, and programmatic levels; what tools you would like to see; and if you’re interested in partnering with our National Center to implement the core competencies in your setting.

Related blog posts:

Related resources:

Putting Care at the Center attendees holding the COACH fact sheet
Camden Coalition staff laugh in front of white board covered with post-its
Adding post-it to poster labeled "complex care ecosystem"

The complex care core competencies were developed by a group of experts from diverse backgrounds and sectors, including complex care consumers. The core competencies working group undertook an extensive research, drafting, and consensus-building process from late 2019 through 2020, including multiple rounds of feedback from the complex care field and individuals with complex needs.

Working group members

  • Mark Humowiecki, Chair, General Counsel & Senior Director for National Initiatives, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
  • Anna Rebecca Boorse Doubeni, Education Vice Chair, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Sara Reid, Lived Experience Vice Chair, Consumer Board Member, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
  • Anne Whitman, Senior Community Researcher, Center for Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research MGH
  • Barbara Crider, JD, Executive Director, York County Community Action
  • Cheryl Garrels, Community Health Worker, MercyOne Centerville Medical Clinic
  • Farhad Modarai, DO, Associate Regional Medical Officer, CareMore Health – North Carolina
  • Janice Tufte, Patient Partner, Hassanah Consulting
  • Jodie Sevier, Community Health Worker, Clinically Integrated Network- ACO- Des Moines Chapter
  • Jonathan K. Weedman, CCTP, LPC, Vice President, Population Health, CareOregon
  • Lesly Starling, BA, BSN, RN, Complex Care Navigator, Kalispell Regional Healthcare
  • Marsha Johnson, Managing Principal, Health Management Associates
  • Martha Chavis, Executive Director, Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Regina Danielson DNP, MAT, RN, Complex Care Research Nurse, Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Research Institute
  • Scune T. Carrington, Director, Integrated Care, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
  • Tina R. Sadarangani, Assistant Professor, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing