A provider champion is any individual who works hard and effectively to start or support an initiative, to bring a program or vision to reality, or to otherwise improve the quality of life of a particular group or of the community as a whole. Provider champions initiate and maintain the often difficult and frustrating work that sustains the health of a community. Effective provider champions believe in the process and support and maintain it, often in the face of opposition. Champions focus on keeping everyone moving toward the group’s goals, even when it may feel like momentum has stalled.
The provider champion will serve as the “voice” of your initiative. Look for a champion with passion for, and experience with, developmental screening and referral. The provider champion in your community may come from one of the backgrounds listed below.
- Pediatric health care
- Early care and education
- Part C/Early intervention services
- Family supports
- Mental and behavioral health
The provider champion should be knowledgeable, trustworthy, accessible, approachable and willing to share knowledge with others, willing to support and advocate for process changes, implement new guidelines, and serve as a resource for others.
The successful candidate will have a wide peer and social network, as well as extensive experience establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships.
Consider a provider champion possessing some or all of the qualities below.
- Negotiates with key players for resources and changes in procedures
- Demonstrates political awareness in balancing conflicting goals and perceptions
- Stimulates motivation and commitment in others involved
- Networking skills in establishing and maintaining appropriate contacts
- Influencing skills in gaining commitment to project plans and ideas
- Ability to function patiently and effectively in an uncertain environment