Relational Coordination Research Collaborative

As summer approaches, we're proud of our student partners who are graduating and eager to see how they will shape our future. Designing the future with intentionality, guided by relational principles and a sense of purpose - this is our focus for the upcoming Roundtable when we gather in Denver this Fall. You have six more weeks for early registration and just one more week to submit an abstract for presentation. Though it will be challenging to beat last Fall’s Roundtable in Boston, our Denver host committee is lining up a fabulous set of keynotes and a highly engaging experience for all to enjoy.

Together with Caroline Logan and Rendi Bolton, I’ve been reviewing all the research on RC that’s been published since the original airline study - the accumulated research is quite overwhelming in its diversity, global reach and practical insights. In Denver we’ll present a sneak preview of hundreds of the latest RC findings - what we are learning collectively and what are your biggest opportunities to impact the field as researchers and as change leaders.

Meanwhile RC is taking off in the education space - in K-12 we are partnering with New York City to bring RC principles to under-served schools through the Bronx Collaborative Schools Plan, and in higher education we are working to create learning environments inspired by RC principles to prepare the next generation of workers, leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses and care providers to “be the change they wish to see in the world.”

News flash - the RCRC now offers the RC survey and RC consulting directly (backed by RC Analytics, Joint Action Analytics and our RC Certified consultants). So feel free to reach out to us using our new intake process. We look forward to partnering with you to create positive change.

See below for more news from our growing community!

Jody Hoffer Gittell
Executive Director, RCRC
Heller School, Brandeis University

New Partners, Updates & Celebrations

Marjorie Godfrey is now RC Certified. Margie Godfrey (USA) is Director of The Dartmouth Institute Microsystem Academy and Instructor for The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH. She is a national and international leader of designing and implementing improvement strategies targeting the place where patients, families, and care teams meet the clinical microsystem. Margie’s primary interest is engaging inter-professional health care professionals in learning about and improving local health care delivery systems with a focus on patients, professionals, processes and outcomes. Dr. Godfrey is co-author of the best selling textbooks, Quality by Design (2007) and Value By Design (2011) and the lead author and architect of the Clinical Microsystems: A Path to Healthcare Excellence series. Please join us in congratulating Margie!

Heather Gilmartin (USA) has received a Career Development Award. Her research focuses on understanding and optimizing the culture of healthcare to enhance patient safety and facilitate organizational learning. Her current area of interest is the impact of relational coordination on care coordination programs.

Khwezi Mbolekwa (USA/Canada) has completed the oral defense for his PhD. His research is about how to effectively engage physician leaders in a regional health system.

David Christenson (USA) presented "Weaving a 40-Year Tapestry: My Journey Into High Reliability Organizing" at the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley.

Bob Merchant (USA) has just been named co-CEO of Billings Clinic.  Congratulations to Billings Clinic on this leadership choice!  Working in partnership with Jennifer Potts, Curt Lindberg and many other colleagues, Bob has been instrumental in bringing RC principles of shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect to the Clinic.  For the story of how it happened, read Transforming Relationships for High Performance - Chapter 10 - Bringing It All Together at Billings Clinic.

We welcome three new partners from our organizational partner, National Health Service North Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (UK) - Danielle Smith, Lydia Hulme and Kayleigh Fairhust.

Congratulations to all of our student partners who are graduating this spring! Please be in touch - we would love to support you as you plan next steps.

New Publications Addressing RC

A special supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine was just published following the VA State of the Art Conference about Care Coordination, including:

Cordasco, K.M., Hynes, D.M., Mattocks, K.M., Bastian, L.A., Bosworth, H.B., & Atkins, D. (2019). "Improving Care Coordination for Veterans Within VA and Across Healthcare Systems." Journal of General Internal Medicine.

McDonald, K.M., Singer, S.J., Gorin, S.S., Haggstrom, D.A., Hynes, D.M., Charns, M. P., ... & Axon, R. N. (2019). "Incorporating Theory into Practice: Reconceptualizing Exemplary Care Coordination Initiatives from the US Veterans Health Delivery System. Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Mohr, D.C., Benzer, J.K., Vimalananda, V.G., Singer, S.J., Meterko, M., McIntosh, N., ... & Charns, M.P. (2019). "Organizational Coordination and Patient Experiences of Specialty Care Integration." Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Peterson, K., Anderson, J., Bourne, D., Charns, M.P., Gorin, S.S., Hynes, D.M., ... & Yano, E.M. (2019). "Health Care Coordination Theoretical Frameworks: A Systematic Scoping Review to Increase Their Understanding and Use in Practice." Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Gittell, J.H., & Hajjar, L. (2019). "Strengthening Patient-Centered Care in the VHA: A Relational Model of Change." Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Next month we will reveal five new RC projects that have been funded through the VA's Health Services Research and Development pilot partnership with the RCRC, led by David Atkins and Heather Gilmartin. Stay posted!

Other new papers include:

Hakobyan, L., Nieboer, A.P., Finkenflügel, H., & Cramm, J.M. (2019). "The Significance of Person‐Centered Care for Satisfaction With Care and Well‐Being Among Informal Caregivers of Persons With Severe Intellectual Disability." Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities.

Stuhlinger, M., Schmutz, J.B. & Grote, G. (2019). "I Hear You, but Do I Understand? The Relationship of a Shared Professional Language with Quality of Care and Job Satisfaction." Frontiers in Psychology.

Jakobsen, L.M., Albertsen, K., Jorgensen, A.F., Greiner, B.A., & Rugulies, R. (2018). "Collaboration among Eldercare Workers: Barriers, Facilitators and Supporting Processes." Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 32(3), 1127-1137.

Raghav, S. (2019). Multiple Identity Interactions: Implications for Work Outcomes.  PhD Dissertation, University of Western Australia.

Haider, S., Ahmed, M., Anwer, S., Aslam, M., & Asadullah, M. A. (2019). "Effect of Relational Coordination on Employee Turnover Intentions through Job Satisfaction: The use of Structural Equation Modeling and Monte Carlo Simulation." Esic Market Economics and Business Journal.

One more week to submit your abstract 
for the 2019 RCRC Roundtable!

At the 9th Annual Roundtable in Denver, we will develop relational approaches to intentional change. How can we identify all relevant stakeholders, then build shared goals, shared knowledge, mutual respect, trust and psychological safety among them? A relational approach to intentional change should help us to solve wicked complex challenges in healthcare, education, community health, community safety, government, and private industry - while helping us to build a more relational society. 

We look forward to our keynote speakers - David Sloan Wilson (evolutionary biologist) and Christi Zuber (human-centered designer) - who will share their expertise on designing the future using the science of intentional change. As in previous years, this Roundtable will include welcoming activities to explore the Denver area and an evening reception on the first day. Throughout the two days we will have the opportunity to share, learn and make long lasting connections with one another.

Our wonderful host committee is creating an engaging experience, in a unique and collaborative venue in Denver's up and coming River North District.

Does my project need to be complete in order to submit an abstract? 
No - your project doesn't need to be completed. We are accepting abstracts about projects that are either completed or in progress.

I'm a student and I'm not sure if I will have funding to attend. 
The RCRC provides a small amount of travel support and complimentary registration for students who have abstracts accepted.

I'm not a researcher but I am doing improvement work with an organization or ecosystem. 
You don't have to be a researcher to submit an abstract. The RCRC is a learning community of researchers and practitioners, and we accept abstracts on research, practice or teaching innovations.

Do you have examples of abstracts that have been accepted in the past? 
Visit here for examples of accepted abstracts - your abstract can describe research, practice or a teaching innovation. 

Other questions? Contact Tanya Allain at

Upcoming RC Events & Activities

Advanced Methods for Improving Relational Coordination: A Toolkit for Leaders and Facilitators

June 4-5, 2019 at Kaiser Permanente Building, Portland, Oregon

Led by Diane Rawlins (InsideOut Consulting, LLC) and Anthony Suchman (Relationship Centered Healthcare)

2019 POS Research Conference

Hosted by Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan

June 5-6, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Academy of Management: Understanding the Inclusive Organization

August 9-13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts - see here for sessions related to RC

Transforming Relationships for High Performance
Relational Coordination Research Collaborative
Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University | @relationalcoord |