A Look Back at 2019

What a year we have had at the International Foundation for Integrated Care! We continue to grow at pace and our network extends to all corners of the world.

In 2019 we held two major international conferences, with 1400 delegates attending our 19th International Conference in San Sebastian in April and 450 delegates attending our 2nd Asia Pacific Conference in Melbourne in November. Plans are well under way for the coming year with our 20th International Conference heading to Croatia in April and our first North American Conference taking place in Toronto in October.

We launched a new IFIC Hub in Canada as our first North American Virtual Community in May, and our other hubs in Australia, Scotland and Ireland continue to expand their networks and develop projects and products that support the capacity and capability to deliver integrated care in their own countries and regions. We are excited to explore in 2020 a vision for IFIC Latin America. Watch this space!

Our research team has been super busy as we came to the the close of one European project, SUSTAIN, we kicked off another three projects Vigour, EURIPHI and ValueCare. Looking ahead to 2020, we will say goodbye to TRANSFORM and hello to ProCareLife.

Our Integrated Care Academy hosted another successful Summer School in Oxford in July and our first IFIC Ireland Accelerated Learning Programme was held in October. We have hosted 28 Live Webinars in 2019 with over 2,500 registrations and many more accessing the content via our website. Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) continue to develop with new SIGs on Small Islands and Compassionate Communities launching in 2019. Our SIGs offer those keen to connect on special interests areas an opportunity to network and share learning through various activities including meetings at conferences, webinars and workshops.

ERPIC, our dedicated network for Emerging Researchers and Professionals in Integrated Care has come to the end of its first formal year of establishment and has appointed a new Executive Team. They have steadily increased their membership with 230 members representing 37 countries.

Our Integrated Care Solutions team continues to work with the Estonian Government and we are delighted that this important work will continue into 2020 and beyond.

Finally, our Journal, the International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC) achieved its highest ever impact factor at 2.489 and a record number of submissions with over 130 papers, and close to 50 papers published in 2019. Well done to Susan Royer and the Editorial team!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners that have supported this exciting work in 2019, from our conference hosts, scientific reviewers and sponsors, our hub partners, our SIG leads, our consortium partners on European projects, our IJIC reviewers and all those who have made a contribution to the Movement for Change in 2019.

Below you will find a quick lookback at some of our highlights for 2019. We look forward to working with you all in 2020.

With a record number of abstracts received for ICIC19, the conference featured over 350 presentations across a range of plenary sessions and breakouts, 125 workshop and Special Interest Group Meetings,  450 posters on display, and once again the Innovation Zone on Wednesday afternoon featured 12 experiential workshops, and the opportunity to visit a range of local health and social care service sites.

Conference highlights included a presentation on Day 2 from Michael Marmot on the social determinants of health. Micheal warned of the crisis in life expectancy and that after a dramatic increase, many western countries have flat lined or are in decline. To avert this crisis, we need to look to the social determinants of health and understand why people are turning to drug use or other unhealthy habits, are committing suicide, and are generally living less well. He pointed to Costa Rica and Cuba who have longer life expediencies, with considerably less money. The social conditions for the poorest are now better in Costa Rica and Cuba than in the US. You can view Michael’s full presentation here.

450 delegates joined us in Melbourne for the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference on Integrated Care. At the conference we took the opportunity to present Professor Nick Goodwin with a presentation recognising his role as Founder and CEO of the Foundation from 2011 to 2019. Earlier this year Nick was appointed as Professor and Director of the Central Coast Research Institute, a joint initiative between the University of Newcastle and the Central Coast Local Health District. The presentation was made by Dr Toni Dedeu from the Foundation and Professor David Perkins from University of Newcastle and Director of IFIC Australia. Nick continues to be involved with the Foundation as the new Chair of IFIC Australia.

The presentations and videos from the conference can now be accessed via the conference webpage.

IFIC Ireland hosted its first Accelerated Learning Program at the Royal Valentia Hotel from October 7th to 11th. Prof. Anne Hendry and Prof. Áine Carroll, along with adjunct faculty from IFIC, the Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP) and University Hospital Kerry (UHK), provided direction and guidance to teams from UL Hospital Group, National Clinical Programme Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, National Clinical Programme Diabetes and South Dublin Community Intervention Team on designing, refining, implementing and measuring their integrated care projects to improve patient outcomes.

The highlight of the week was a site visit that delegates and faculty undertook to the Palliative Care Team led by Dr. Patricia Sheahan at University Hospital Kerry. Palliative care services in Kerry are integrated across the whole county with home care, community-hospital, day-care and hospice care provided, co-ordinated and integrated across Community Health Organisation (CHO) 4, UHK and Kerry Hospice. The week long program was a great success with plenty of learning for all involved and we look forward to catching up with our delegates as their projects progress.

IFIC Canada launched in May this year already has over 1000 people involved, with many different lens’, who have an interest in advancing integrated care throughout North America. The virtual community provides a platform to bring these individuals and organizations together to achieve the goal of improved care for patients and their families.

The inaugural virtual community meeting took place on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, and brought together over 300 people from 14 countries who are interested to make positive change within health and social care. During this session, the community identified what they wanted the focus of the virtual community to be as we move forward.

With each session, we will take a deeper dive into the themes identified by the community, bringing in expert knowledge from around the world, as well as ensuring we also bring the patient and caregiver voice to each session.

The IFIC Canada virtual community is convened by The International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), The Change Foundation and the Institute of Health, Policy Management and Evaluation (IHPME) from the University of Toronto and brings together those that are interested in making a positive change within health and social care. IFIC works in collaboration with more than 60 countries, who have prioritized integrated care.

IFIC Canada supports the build to the 1st North American Conference on Integrated Care (#NACIC2020), to be held in Toronto, October 5th-7th 2020.

A core objective of IFIC Australia is to help support the effective implementation of integrated care in policy and practice. The IFIC Australia initiative reflects the growing focus at State and Federal level on person-centred integrated care as a means to promote better value in the way health and care services are delivered.

Over the next year, IFIC Australia is inviting commentaries on How to Take Integrated Care Forward in Australia from a range of different perspectives.

The latest in the series comes from Dr Hazel Dalton, Rural and Remote Mental Health, The University of Newcastle (UON) talks about population-based approaches to Integrated Care in Australia. And from Professor Nick Goodwin from Central Coast Research Institute, University of Newcastle who shares lessons from the international experience of integrated care for promotion and adoption in Australia.

Professor Goodwin has recently been appointed as Chair of IFIC Australia.

We were delighted to coordinate the inaugural learning exchange of IFICs new Special Interest Group on Integrated Care in Small Island Systems, hosted by the Department of Health and Social Care and Hospice Isle of Man. Colleagues from Scotland joined partners from Malta, Seychelles, Guernsey and Isle of Man to learn how integrated approaches and partnership with Third sector can build resilience, strengthen health systems and support island systems design integrated care pathways, support healthy ageing, and build community wellbeing and resilience. We had great fun too and even adopted a Wallaby called the Collaboration! You can access the SmILE 1 slides and resources, and join this new community of practice here.

From 13-14 February the 17 VIGOUR partners met for the first time in Luxembourg, to get to know each other, discuss initial ideas and to plan their collaborative efforts towards scaling-up integrated care best practices in Europe. Over three years, VIGOUR – kindly funded by the European Union’s Health programme (2014-2020) – will develop a support scheme to understand and guide 15 care authorities through a staged process of integrated care system capacity and capability building and implementation. IFIC is work package lead for Communication and Dissemination with partners Empirica.

On 13 March 2019 in Brussels, IFIC’s Maggie Langins, Toni Dedeu and Nick Goodwin took part in the final conference for SUSTAIN. The conference marked the end of the 4 year Horizon 2020 project which worked in close collaboration with health and social care staff in 13 sites across 7 countries in Europe to improve integrated care for older people with complex conditions at home. The conference was also an opportunity to launch the Roadmap, which captured the experiences of partners improving integrated care across Europe so as to transfer these experiences to other settings.

At the end of September, Toni Dedeu and senior researchers Nieves Ehrenberg and Monica Sorensen travelled to Vancouver, Canada to the 3rd Transnational Forum for Integrated Community Care (TransForm) conference. IFIC is the content partner of this joint initiative of Foundations in Europe and Canada that aims to put the community at the centre of primary and integrated care.

In 2019 IFIC became consortium partners of the ERUPHI project. The project Introduces innovation and integrated care solutions in Europe’s health and social care systems through cross-border value-based innovation procurement. The Coordinating and Supporting Action EURIPHI (European Innovative Procurement of Health Innovation) aims to contribute to this change in area’s of interest in Europe and build out a common vision and enabling community of practice. IFIC Senior Fellow and Head of Research and Development Leo Lewis, presented at a consortium meeting which took place in Brussels on October 16.

The kick off meeting for VALUECARE took place in Rotterdam in December. VALUECARE will deliver efficient outcome-based integrated (health and social) care to older people facing cognitive impairment, frailty and multiple chronic health conditions in order to improve their quality of life (and of their families) as well as the sustainability of the health and social care systems in Europe. IFIC is work package lead for Communications and Dissemination.

The kick off meeting for PROCareLife will take place in Lisbon in January 2020. The main contribution of PROCareLife consists in proposing an integrated scalable and interactive care ecosystem, which can be easily adapted to the reality of several chronic diseases, care institutions and end-user requirements,
benefiting all the involved actors, from patients, to caregivers and health professionals. IFIC is work package lead for Communication and Dissemination.

Do you know of a project that needs a researcher?  Is a conference seeking an emerging professional to present on a specific topic?  Let us know so we can spread the news through the ERPIC network!  And keep an eye on our webpage.  We are working towards increasing international collaboration opportunities for our members.

ERPIC is made up of 230 members in 37 countries researching and working in different areas of integrated care.  Let’s build on these international connections.  Join our online community to publish a book review, join a special interest group, and be a panel member at conferences.

Registrations are now open for ICIC20, the 20th International Conference taking place in Šibenik, Croatia from 27-29 April 2020! We encourage delegates to book early to avail of the early bird discount and take advantage of current low rates on flights to/from Split and Zdar!

The programme will be announced in early January. Abstract submitters have been notified of the results with some papers remaining on hold as we fully develop the programme and understand the space available. We thank you for your patience!

The planning for the 1st North America Conference on Integrated Care (NACIC2020) is gaining pace as we work with the Scientific and Strategic Advisory Committees to refined the conference themes and prepare for the launch of the call for papers. It is expected that the call will be launched towards the end of January and remain open until early March. The registration system will be launched in line with the call. To stay up to date with developments, watch out for emails or visit the conference website.