Message from the LCI Chair

Dear LCI Members,                            

I want thank everyone for your ongoing support and dedication in making the Learning Communities Institute an important organization in health professions education. I am honored to have such wonderful colleagues and to have the opportunity to lead the organization in this 8th year of the LCI’s existence. Our organization continues to play a major role in medical education as we work together to promote learning communities in the education of health professionals. We have grown to 44 member schools and continue to be oversubscribed at our annual meetings each year with 174 attending our annual meeting at the University of Kansas this past Fall. I appreciate all of you, our dedicated staff and previous leaders for improving health care education and promoting scholarship in learning communities.

Reflecting on this past year I want to acknowledge Lauren Parker and her team at the University of Kansas for an amazing annual meeting. David Irby our keynote speaker highlighted the core elements of learning environments: safety, engagement, and connectedness. From his work at the Josiah Macy Foundation on improving learning environments in health professions education he described that exemplary learning environments share the following features:
•    fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusivity
•    all participants are teachers and learners, sharing a dedication to lifelong learning 
•    support the wellbeing of all participants

David Hatem and his team from the Research Network including Jorie Colbert-Getz and Rob Shochet outlined the three main projects their team is working on: faculty meaning, student professional identity formation, and student wellness. These projects all tie in to exemplary learning environments described by David Irby. In this time more than ever I feel learning communities play an important role in creating positive learning environments and in supporting the wellbeing of our students and faculty through promoting continuity of teaching and mentoring and reinforcing professionalism and humanism. Other highlights from the annual meeting included the Pre-course organized by David Hatem and Maya Sardesai and the main meeting that included 10 workshops, 9 hot topics over 27 posters. The 2019 Ron Arky Award was presented to Amy Fleming and you can find more details on the various topics including the actual slides and materials on our website.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work and leadership of the LCI Executive Committee and Leadership Chairs from 2019:
•    Chair: Molly Jackson
•    Past Chair: Mark Whipple
•    Secretary: Sara Fazio
•    Treasurer: James Wagner
•    Faculty Development: David Hatem, Maya Sardesai
•    Membership Co-Chairs: Peter Gliatto and Caroline Harada
•    Research Chair: Jorie Colbert-Getz
•    Student Council: Christopher Kaperak, Caroline Gentile
•    Web & Communication Chair: Ralph Aarons, Michael Pilla, Sara Tariq
•    Members-at-Large:  William Agbore-Baiyee, Danika Franks
•    LCI Administration:  Susan Shultz

As we look to the year ahead I am excited about our plans to further our mission to “improve health care education across the continuum of learning by fostering scholarship, professional development and the centrality of relationships among learners and teachers”. I am grateful to be working with Molly, Jason and Susan and our Executive and Council team members. We will be planning for another exciting annual meeting to be held at the University of Southwestern October 23-25 in Houston with our hosts James Wagner and Heather Smith and our Annual LCI planning team.

Other plans for this year include the development of a Board of Directors and to enlist commercial help with the website. We are enthusiastic with the work coming out of the Research Network by David Hatem, Jorie Golbert-Getz and Rob Shochet and their team. Most importantly we would like to involve all of you who are interested in participating in the LCI. We want to be an inclusive organization living up to creating an exemplary learning environment within our community through promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity. I welcome all of you who are interesting in getting involved in any way to contact me. The strength of our organization is due to all of you and the diversity within our group. Please see our website for updated information and a roster of our committee chairs for the upcoming year.

With Best Wishes,

Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH
Chair, Learning Communities Institute