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IFIC welcomes Dr Viktoria Stein as Head of the Integrated Care Academy ©

IFIC welcomes Dr Viktoria Stein as Head of the Integrated Care Academy ©

We ask Viktoria to tell us more about her plans for the Academy © ….

Why is education and training so important in the movement towards integrated care?
As integrated care is moving out of its niche and becoming increasingly popular as a guiding principle for the organization of services around people’s needs. It has been acknowledged that it is one thing to design integrated institutions and processes, but quite another to get people to actually use and apply them. Many initiatives failed because they assumed that they just had to provide a new structure of collaboration and streamline patients along an intersectoral pathway for integrated care to happen. Unfortunately, as numerous examples from around the world illustrate, change is not that easy to achieve. And one key reason is that the people who are supposed to apply the new models, are neither involved in the design nor prepared for the new way of working. The answer to the former has given rise to co-design and co-production models, the answer to the latter is the development of education and training programmes for integrated care. Identifying education and training of service providers, managers, patients and communities as a key ingredient for successful and sustainable change towards integrated care may not be surprising, but the interest in the topic and the development of adequate courses and modules has only recently picked up pace.

What kind of education and training will the Integrated Care Academy © provide?
The International Foundation for Integrated Care has been at the forefront of education and training with the establishment of the Integrated Care Academy, and is now expanding its offer to serve the many different needs of our audiences and members. Under the umbrella of the Integrated Care Academy a range of education and training services will provide insights into the theory and practice, design, implementation and management of integrated care from a beginners to an advanced level. A core element is interdisciplinary learning and teaching, which will be offered in a combination of online and onsite services and fitting into the schedules of professionals as well as students. As teachers we draw on the vast experience and excellence of our network, which enables us to provide the newest insights from the people who actually developed the theory or managed the integrated care initiative.

The Integrated Care Academy ©: Essential Skills Course that traditionally takes place during our annual conference illustrates this expansive approach by providing a comprehensive overview of the status quo of research to conference participants, from students to senior managers.

The first webinar series Building Blocks of Integrated Care” was launched in October 2015 and its success highlights the urgent need for easy to access interactive learning opportunities. The series was developed in cooperation with Edge Hill University and provides the basis for more webinars to come.

Another premiere is approaching in early summer 2016, when the first International Summer School on Integrated Care will take place at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. This summer school is targeted towards professionals tasked with designing, implementing, leading and managing integrated care initiatives and will provide an intensive five day learning opportunity.

IFIC is also providing content to various Masters Programmes around the world, from the Netherlands to Australia, and offering these students the opportunity to participate in our conferences and events, present their work and publish in the International Journal for Integrated Care.

Finally and one of our most popular offers are our International Study Tours, where small cohorts tour several countries where they can examine regional and country-level strategies and experience directly innovations in care management through presentations, onsite visits and facilitated discussions. The next Three Country Study Tour on Integrated Care will take place in May visiting Veneto, Italy, Bilboa, Spain and Porto and Lisbon in Portugal ahead of ICIC16 in Barcelona.

How can individuals and organizations find out more?
The Foundation is always interested in working with individuals and organizations to advance the science, knowledge and adoption of integrated care policy and practice. You can apply or register directly for our various programmes by visiting the Academy © section of our website or contact me directly to discuss a more bespoke programme tailored to individual or organizational requirements.


Dr Viktoria Stein joined IFIC in September 2015 as the Head of the Integrated Care Academy to lead its development. Viktoria had previously worked for the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen to coordinate their development of the Framework for Action for Coordinated/Integrated Health Services Delivery towards people-centred health systems. During this time, she had the opportunity to gain insight into the integrated care initiatives in the 53 European WHO member states and analyse the commonalities and differences among them. Before that she trained as a health economist, working and teaching at the Medical University of Vienna, and already being actively involved in the international integrated care community. Over the years she developed her own courses and teaching materials, and has had wide experience with teaching students and professionals alike all around the world. Viktoria brings thus a combination of thorough understanding of integrated care theory and practice together with a longstanding passion and experience in education and training to IFIC and the Integrated Care Academy. Her personal aim is to establish education and training as a key ingredient in any integrated care initiative. So keep checking our website for updates on the newest developments and offers of the Integrated Care Academy ©