​IHI Open School Change Agent Network (I-CAN) Learning Activities

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Like many smokers, Jed wanted to quit.
A line worker at a GM factory in Flint, Michigan, Jed suffered a cardiac event that scared him. He didn’t want to die young — like his dad had. But behavior change is hard, and there’s a lot more to it than one person’s will. Jed knew he wouldn’t just have to overcome his nicotine addiction, but also break a norm among his friends, who also smoked. Jed and his doctor, Trissa Torres, who told Jed’s story at IHI’s 2015 Annual International Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice and the Community, talked with him about the real-life obstacles that stood in the way, and helped him navigate his way to change.
Jed quit smoking.
These conversations are more important than ever, as chronic disease related to diet, exercise, and drug use are on the rise. And health care is moving away from notions such as “non-compliance,” which place blame on patients when they don’t follow doctor’s “orders.” More than ever, people need providers who build two-way relationships with them to help them reach their health goals. And health systems are taking on more responsibility to offer programs to help patients with healthy eating and exercise, as well as working with communities to create more opportunities for people to lead healthy lives.
Explore our list of IHI Open School resources and activities below to start learning more about issues facing communities as they relate to health behaviors. This list is by no means comprehensive, there are many things we can and should do to improve health behaviors, but this should get you started on the road to improving health and may even serve as ideas for leading change.
To become a change agent and lead change, click here to learn more about I-CAN projects.
​Topic Ac​tivities & Resources Potential I-CAN Projects
Tobacco Use
  • Ending the Tobacco Epidemic. Learn more about the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan.
  • Learn about media campaigns, restricting access, reducing cost for smoke cessation programs from county health rankings and use template advocacy letters from the Partnership for Prevention to fight to reduce tobacco use.
  • Learn more about the health damage smoking causes  - and help spread the word to create a smoke free campus. CDC's Tips from Farmer Smokers campaign resources include buttons and badges, videos, social media content, print ads from the campaign, and more, often tailored for specific audiences.
  • Carry out a project on campus or in your community around smoking cessation, using the WHO resources and video.
  • Measure and improve the number of outpatient visits at which current tobacco users received tobacco cessation counseling or cessation medications.
  • Build off the CVS "organizing campaign" approach that involves putting pressures on industries, policy makers, and other key players to end the sale of tobacco products, etc.
  • Lead your Chapter in the dissemination of cell phone-based tobacco cessation interventions.
​Sexual Activity
  • ​Learn how some I-CAN Scholars have worked together to disseminate barrier protection and STI educational materials locally. - Christ Community Health Services
  • Start an "I am in charge of my Reproductive Health" Campaign locally by focusing on:
    • Parenthood - timing and choice
    • Annual care and screening to maintain reproductive health for men and women
    • STI testing and prevention
Diet & Exercise​
Chronic Disease
  •  Read how one Patient Advocate Transformed Diabetic Care
  • Convene a Chapter and commuinty dialogue:
    • Discuss strategies for improving access to healthier foods and beverages in school environments (cafeterias, school meal programs, fundraising efforts, parties & events, teachers' lounges, vending machines, concession stands)
    • Discuss strategies for enhancing infrastructure to support walking and biking for all
    • Invite your neighbors together to discuss how to support a healthier community for those living with chronic conditions
  • Develop a diabetes checklist for patients to facilitate self-management of their disease and drive diabetes standards of care at a local clinic. - Emory University
  • Join the Million Hearts Campaign.
  • Change policy: Establish voluntary nutrition and physical activity policies in child care settings or mandate and enforce policies as par tof state licensing/accreditation.
Finished the activities and ready to do more? Here are four things you can do to improve the health of your community:
  1. Share your pledge to improve population health.
  2. Make your support visible: Share this with colleagues and friends through your networks and conversations, post on social media (@IHIOpenSchool), and invite others to pledge to take action with us.
  3. Lead and become an agent for change by conducting a project through the I-CAN course.
  4. Amplify efforts locally by joining an existing I-CAN project or by connecting with your community. Contact us to link up!