Practitioner Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Kraft Practitioner Program?

The Kraft Practitioner Program was developed in direct response to the increasing need for a stable, sustainable workforce of excellent clinicians to care for patients in community health settings. Its goals include fostering leadership development, management skills, and mentorship in areas directly related to improving the health of communities.

The immediate aim of the program is to recruit and retain talented physicians and nurses in community-based practice settings, and help evolve sustaining career paths for them. We expect that Kraft Practitioners will go on to assume leadership positions within their community health organizations, address complex community health problems, become mentors and role models for new clinicians beginning their careers in community health, and help build the capacity of the community health field to attract the next generation of talented young physicians and nurses to careers in community health.

What are the program highlights?

Key elements of the Kraft Practitioner Program include the following:

  • 20% non-clinical (“protected”) time to engage in program activities
  • Formal “Monthly Learning Days” with other Kraft Practitioners, at which myriad topics related to community health, the care of underserved populations, and leadership and professional development will be explored via directed readings, discussions, and presentations from leaders in the various fields.
  • Completion of a substantive quality improvement or community health project in consultation with community health center and Kraft Center leadership and with guidance from an identified health center mentor.  
  • Development of career goals and a professional development plan that includes self-directed and peer learning components.
  • Ongoing guidance and mentorship from Kraft Center leaders and advisors.
  • Assistance with educational loan repayment.
What are some of the topics addressed in the Kraft Practitioner Program’s “Monthly Learning Days?”

Examples of topics for Monthly Learning Days include the following:

  • Disparities, health equity, and social determinants of health
  • Community health assessment and community health improvement planning
  • Health care reform: national, state, and local developments
  • Advocacy and public policy developments
  • Innovations in community-based care delivery
  • Research frameworks and methods in community health
  • Management issues in community-based care

Especially given the rapidly changing health care environment, we anticipate that additional new learning day topics will be developed to address both emerging issues in health care and the specific interests of individual cohorts of Kraft Practitioners.

Where do Monthly Learning Days take place?

Monthly Learning Days rotate among the community health centers engaged with the Kraft Practitioner Program. Leaders at the ‘host’ community health center typically speak with the group about their patient population, successes, and challenges, and a brief tour of the center is included. The goal is to enable Kraft Practitioners to get a better sense of the wide variety that exists among the community health centers that care for underserved patients across Massachusetts.

How do Kraft Practitioners engage with the program between Monthly Learning Days?

An important feature of the Kraft Practitioner Program is the Virtual Learning Community, which is a web-based forum for discussions, the sharing of articles, documents, and other resources, and the posting of homework, group work, and other program requirements.  

Kraft Practitioners also have regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with Kraft Center leaders and advisors, and the Kraft Center includes work space for Practitioners to make use of on an as-needed basis

How long is the Kraft Practitioner Program?

The Kraft Practitioner Program is a two-year program.

When is the Kraft Practitioner Program offered?

The Kraft Practitioner Program is offered on an every-other-year basis. The next Kraft Practitioner class will begin in July 2017.

Does the Kraft Practitioner Program offer an advanced degree?

While the Kraft Practitioner Program offers myriad opportunities for formal and informal learning, an advanced degree program is not one of its components.

What are the participating community health centers?

Community health centers are selected for participation in the Kraft Practitioner Program via a separate annual application process. Thus, the list of participating community health centers changes from year to year.

Who is eligible for the program?

Physicians and masters-prepared nurses, including advanced practice nurses, who are:

  1. newly recruited to a participating community health center or
  2. within the first five years of their practice in community health are eligible for the Kraft Practitioner Program.  

Eligible disciplines include: internal medicine, primary care, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry.    

Please note that candidates must be employed by or in the process of being recruited by a participating community health center in order to be eligible for the program.

How do I apply?

Physicians and nurses must be nominated by their community health center in order to be considered for the Kraft Practitioner Program. A written statement of interest from the candidate is required as part of that nomination process. More information about becoming a Kraft Practitioner can be obtained from the leadership of participating community health centers.

Please note that Kraft Practitioner Program candidates must be employed by or in the process of being recruited by a participating community health center in order to be eligible for the program.

How does my community health center apply to participate in the Kraft Practitioner Program?

Find more information about the community health center application process.

How are Kraft Practitioners selected?

Kraft Practitioner Program nomination materials are reviewed by a committee which includes CHC, academic and Kraft Center leadership.

The selection process seeks to ensure that the cohort of Kraft Practitioners includes diversity and appropriate balance in terms of professions (physicians and nurses); disciplines (internal medicine, primary care, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry), as well as community health center characteristics such as populations served and the nature and types of community programs.

How many Kraft Practitioners are selected each year?

On average, between 8 and 10 Kraft Practitioners are selected each year. The relative numbers of doctors and nurses vary based upon the applicant pool and the needs of the program in a given year.

How was the Kraft Practitioner Program developed?

The Kraft Practitioner Program was developed through close collaboration with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and leaders at community health centers. The Mass League and community health center leader remain important partners as we continue to develop, evaluate, and improve the program, with the ultimate goal being the highest quality learning experience possible for Kraft Practitioners.