The Catalyst Project FAQ

Catalyst Project logoWhat is a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)?
To maintain their not-for-profit status, hospitals must perform a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to identify the most pressing health needs of their community.

What can we do with a CHNA?
The CHNA can be used as a road map for anyone seeking to better align innovation efforts with pressing local health needs. It identifies available resources at academic institutions, can help create new linkages and opportunities, and better aligns education with practice.

How do teams play a front-and-center role?
Students and faculty are in a powerful position to create connections between schools and communities. Passionate groups of students can promote dialogue to identify concrete ways health systems can align care with the health needs of patients as well as those who have yet to seek care. By leveraging relationships with a diverse array of healthcare stakeholders, PCP teams can promote new academic community conversations that lead directly to new action.

What, where, and how will chapters learn?
Through the Catalyst Project, teams learn the essential skills of engaging stakeholders in both one-to-one and group settings. The curriculum includes training and skills development around teaming, meeting management, community health needs analysis, innovation in care delivery, stakeholder interviewing, and patient and community engagement. Skills are taught through learning collaboratives, didactics, consultations, coaching, interactive webinars, asynchronous videos, and coaching phone calls. In between learning sessions, teams advance their local initiatives and document progress.

Who are the coaches/trainers?
The national coaching/training team is comprised of a group of coaches, trainers, and Subject Matter Experts who bring their unique expertise, experience, and insights to the Catalyst Project. Trainers include members of The Wright Center’s Innovation Team, the PCP National Team, national experts in patient engagement and community needs analysis, and former PCP Team Leaders who have run similar initiatives in the past.

What’s the commitment?
All teams must commit to the following:

  • Participation in all curriculum modules.
  • Building a foundation of ongoing community engagement, which can continue to be built even after current team members are no longer engaged.
  • Bringing in new team members to continue the work, with ongoing support of Faculty Advisors.
  • Completing a 5 Dynamics team assessment and attending a debrief session in order to support group teaming.

How do you apply?
The application period is now closed. Please check back for details on next year’s program or contact We seek teams that meet the following conditions:

  • Interprofessional
  • Diversity of age, stage of training, race, and gender identity in leadership team
  • At least one active Faculty Advisor
  • 3-8 student leaders
  • Previous PCP Action Network participation of at least one year
  • Existing CHNA in local community
  • A leadership team with members who have attended the Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit or plan to attend this year’s PCP Summit