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Vilans at ICIC24: Taking the Leap – Making Integrated Care a Reality for People and Communities

Published on: 21-06-2024

The 24th International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC24) took place in Belfast on 22-24 April 2024 with the overarching theme "Taking the Leap – Making Integrated Care a Reality for People and Communities." The conference brought together leaders, researchers, clinicians, managers, citizens, patients, and caregivers from around the world to share their experiences and celebrate the progress in the movement towards more coordinated, person-centered care for people and communities worldwide. Vilans organized a workshop on the new models of general medical care and gave presentations about community care initiatives.

Workshop on New Models of General Medical Care

A highlight of Vilans participation was the workshop "New Models of General Medical Care," led by Marloes Berkelaar, Lian Stouthard, and Maud Hoogeveen. Their workshop focused on exploring and implementing innovative approaches to general medical care in the Netherlands. The workshop was attended by a audience of diverse nationalities who were very interested the topic and valued the insights from the Netherlands very much.

The session featured ongoing research from Erasmus University Rotterdam, presented through an engaging video. We discussed two pioneering projects experimenting with alternative models for delivering general medical care and presented the monitoring of the movement using an impact map.

Maud Hoogeveen

During the workshop, participants engaged in discussions about the current state of general medical care in their respective countries. It was noteworthy that despite the diverse national contexts, there were similarities in the challenges faced by countries. The discussions were lively, and we were very pleased to see that the participants remained engaged long after the workshop ended.

Lian Stouthard

The workshop not only provided new insights for the participants but also for Vilans. Marloes Berkelaar explained that the team gained valuable information about approaches to general medical care in other countries, broadening their perspective.

Caring Neighborhoods and Compassionate Communities

Closer involvement of communities was among the main themes driving the discussions. During the session Caring communities as indispensable elements of a caring society, Femke de Wit and Sander Merkus presented the first tentative insights form an ethnographic and action-based research that Vilans is doing this year. If caring communities are to be integral part of a caring society, they will have to relate to other parties in the society like local government, care- and wellbeing services. Vilans is investigating what helps and what hinders  this collaboration, in order to find lessons and best practice to share with other communities.

During the workshop an innovative tool was tested which helps to visualize the connections between community initiatives and other societal actors – GP’s, municipality, physiotherapists, etc. By visualizing the ideal caring community and subsequently visualizing the existing caring community, it becomes obvious that many connections will still have to be forged in order to reach the ideal situation. The innovative tool was very well received by the audience, all coming from different countries but all interested in the notion of caring communities.

The tool really triggers reflection and discussion. One of the groups was visualizing the caring community they would like in their city in Pakistan, and it became very clear to them the contemporary situation was nowhere near the ideal. “We already knew that, but the tool really visualizes it and makes you feel the gap between ambition and reality. Very powerful.

Sander Merkus

Strengthening International Relationships

The conference also served as a platform for strengthening relationships with international partners. The Vilans team reconnected with colleagues and formed new connections, fostering a sense of global community in the integrated care field. These interactions highlighted the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in addressing complex healthcare challenges.

Sharing knowledge on such international platforms is an important part of our engagement in the field. The insights gained from various countries at ICIC24 have been invaluable. The conference teaches us the value of pulling resources, listening to diverse ideas, and new developments. It was also wonderful to reconnect with old friends and make new connections, reinforcing the global community committed to integrated care.

Mirella Minkman

As Vilans continues to drive innovation in integrated care, the experiences and insights gained at ICIC24 will be invaluable addition to its existing integrated care initiatives and programs.

Exchanging ideas and knowledge with colleagues from around the world is an important part of our work. We are excited to apply the insights gained at ICIC24 and to continue advancing the integrated care agenda in the Netherlands.

Nick Zonneveld

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