In this issue…

The National Collaborative for Education to Address the Social Determinants of Health (NCEAS) is a HRSA-funded Academic Unit for Primary Care Training and Enhancement. The mission of the NCEAS is to prepare primary care clinicians with the expertise and leadership to address the social determinants of health (SDOH).

Do you have relevant SDOH resources, curricula, or evaluation tools to share? Please send them to us at

Community of Practice

Communities of practice are a practical way to frame the task of managing knowledge. They provide a concrete organizational infrastructure for realizing the dream of a learning organization.” – Dr. Etienne Wenger

I recently attended a meeting where I heard Etienne Wenger speak. Dr. Wenger is an educational theorist who, together with cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave, proposed the concept of a “community of practice.” Communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” According to Wenger, “A community of practice (CoP) is a commitment to learning partnership.” There is a sense of shared identity, commitment and recognition of competence.

The basic model of a CoP consists of:1

  • Domain: What is the community about? What do people identify with? There has to be a shared domain of interest or competence that sets members apart from other people.
  • Community: Who should be at the table? What kind of relationships should they form? Through their interaction and participation in discussions and activities, members of a CoP build relationships and develop into a community.
  • Practice: What should they do together? How can they make a difference in practice? Members of a CoP collaboratively develop knowledge and contribute to shared resources through their interactions and discussions

The goal of a CoP is not to transmit knowledge but to facilitate an exchange of ideas and this resonates with the goal of our NCEAS Community of Practice: we are a gathering of educators in the health professions who are passionate about teaching social determinants of health in order to achieve health equity for all. As members interact and engage with each other through webinars, twitter chats, community blogs and in-person meetings, and as they contribute to shared resources, we will commit to the learning partnership and develop a shared sense of identity.
We invite you to follow along with us in this journey as we establish our community of practice for health equity. For more information and resources, visit our website (

  1. Wenger E, Wenger-Trayner B. Introduction to communities of practice (Accessed November 15 2018).

Dr. Mobola Campbell-Yesufu is the NCEAS Director for Community of Practice.

In addition to her role with NCEAS, Dr. Campbell-Yesufu is Assistant Professor of Medicine and co-director for Diversity and Cultural Affairs Council in the Department of Medicine at Northwestern. Dr. Campbell-Yesufu recently launched a Health Equity and Advocacy Clinical Scholars Program for residents and fellows at Northwestern University.

NCEAS Webinar

The next NCEAS webinar will occur December 19th, 2018 at 11:30am (CT). Our speaker, Dr. Erin Paquette, is a pediatric critical care doctor and lawyer and assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University.

Join us as Dr. Paquette discusses the relationship between social determinants of health and legal remedies, the history of medical legal partnerships (MLP), and the future of MLPs including issues at community and policy levels.

When: Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 at 11:30am (CT)
Where: A link will be sent prior to the event with further instructions.
Presenter: Erin Paquette, MD, JD, MBe

Resource of the Month

The Cliff of Good Health

This resource was submitted by the Urban Institute, a non-profit research organization focused on economic and social policy. “The Cliff of Good Health” is included in their portfolio of work related to social determinants of health. In this video, Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones uses a cliff anaology to explain how everyone should have the opportunity to achieve good health.

Watch it here!

What’s the Latest?

News, Conferences, and Upcoming Events



  • November 19, 2018 Homelessness, Health and Medical-Legal Partnerships | Webinar | Details
  • November 20, 2018 Partnering with Community | Webinar | Details
  • November 29, 2018 Defining and Unpacking the Social Determinants of Health Equity – A Culture of Health Webinar | Webinar | Details
  • November 29, 2018 2018 Fall Health Seminar: Social Determinants of Health | Montgomery, AL | Details

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