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Case in Point:

A Problem-Solving Experience in Population Health

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Case in Point: A Problem-Solving Experience in Population Health is intended to respond to the critical need for multidisciplinary training materials for population health. The case-based experience is designed to strengthen skills in the areas of communication, leadership, and problem-solving within the context of a real-world population health scenario.

The intent of the experience is to initiate new ways of collaboratively working and thinking for a group or team on a population health problem. The Case in Point experience was piloted using a case study about the Flint Water Crisis, however, Case in Point is designed to be adaptable to any population health case or problem. 

Case in Point is intended for in-person delivery as it requires extensive teamwork and includes opportunities to debrief across teams. The Implementation Guide includes recommended formats for delivery and instructions for modifications to meet the needs of different academic programs.

Project Background >>


The purpose of Case in Point is to create an experience for professional learners to explore new ways of thinking and working on interdisciplinary teams in the emerging population health context. The exercise strengthens communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills that are broadly applicable across population health practice settings and disciplines, and are included in multiple public health competency frameworks.

Learning Objectives

Within the context of a real-world population health scenario, the case-based experience provides opportunities for learners to:

  • Establish camaraderie within interprofessional teams
  • Collaborate with others who have a stake in population health
  • Explore team roles and styles of working
  • Solicit input and practice effective listening
  • Lead and contribute among peers
  • Apply tools for problem-solving
  • Analyze the impact of various leadership styles and consider own tendencies
  • Adapt their communication style to interact more effectively with others

Case in Point is broken into four separate ‘rounds’ or sections and each round has objectives of its own.

Learning Objectives by Round:

Round 1 - Participants will:

  • Identify social determinants of health in affected population(s) 
  • Interpret quantitative and qualitative data provided to make community or population-specific inferences 
  • Differentiate between what is relevant and unimportant
  • Weigh pros/cons and risks/benefits of proposed intervention approaches
  • Design a population health intervention

Round 2 - Participants will:

  • Recognize situational opportunities for vertical and horizontal leadership
  • Demonstrate collaboration with interprofessional team members
  • Incorporate diverse perspectives in planning an intervention
  • Appraise various strategies for implementing the intervention
  • Formulate a coordinated strategy for implementation of the intervention

Round 3 - Participants will:

  • Identify messaging appropriate for main audience
  • Identify appropriate spokesperson from the public health workforce, health care, or other partners
  • Demonstrate flexibility in communication strategy based on new information
  • Integrate diverse perspectives from within interprofessional teams
  • Construct a Single Overriding Communication Objective for an identified spokesperson
  • Develop a message for an appropriate audience

Round 4 - Participants will:

  • Discuss the key takeaways from the case experience
  • Explain the complex nature of doing population health in a community
  • Examine how their Case in Point experience may influence their future work
  • Argue the case for using interprofessional teams in population health problem solving 

Intended Audiences

Case in Point is designed for groups of individuals at different levels of experience and expertise. The case-based experience was designed for incoming fellows at the CDC with the additional intent of providing a relevant and flexible professional development tool for teams working in local and state health departments. The strength of the experience is the interprofessional approach and the focus on collaboration, which has broad applicability to public health and health professions students as well.  

It is recommended that you assemble individuals from varying disciplines into Case in Point teams, with as equal a representation as possible from the disciplines available. However, you can also implement Case in Point for existing teams.


Implementation >> 


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This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number, 6 NU36OE000008-02-02, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Academic Partnerships to Improve Health (APIH) initiative through the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




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