HHS Ignite – Being part of the 2015 HRSA Huddles team exploring collaborative work

The HHS Ignite Accelerator is a part of a cool program in the US Department Health and Human Services Idealab (@HHSIdeaLab), that…

equips and empowers U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employees and members of the public who have an idea and want to act.

Earlier in 2014, I was asked to join a proposed HHS Ignite Team by Sabrina Matoff-Step, PhD (@SabrinaMatoffSt) for a project and watched as the team made the first cut, then the second cut, then…onto the launchpad:

HHS Ignite Winter 2015: Announcing the the 13 Selected Teams – The HHS IDEA Lab

And here we are, the “HRSA Huddles: Improving Collaboration & Engagement” team. Becoming a selected team brings all kinds of startup and established world expertise and opportunities to develop an idea, which is so great for an organization that does so many things for so many people.

Huddle Power – Labor Management Partnership (link to original)


As the description of the team’s work says, we are examining an innovation that meets the basic needs of people working together (social innovation!), that has uneven adoption in society and health care.

Some teams call them “standups.” Our Labor Management Partnership (@LMPtalk) calls them huddles and have produced lots of great resources that are available to help people see the benefit of huddles in better communication. Links at the bottom of this post.

We perform huddles at the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth). Our team is small and we are co-located physically, so a huddle for us is going to be different from a 24/7 medical office operation. There are also weekly and daily standups that happen with/by our peers at our national offices in California, coupled with helpful daily emails with the information and links discussed.

For me, this work provides an insight into how (another) very large organization works to deliver solutions collaboratively. We’re in the customer interviews state and I’m already learning a ton, and it’s also caused me to ask my colleagues about what their optimal huddle experience is, so the igniting/ignition is spreading out of HHS as well as into it 🙂 .

I’ll post what is postable as I go along. Sabrina and team have green lighted me to do that, in the meantime, feel free to comment with your huddle experiences and enjoy the journey with us.

Links/Videos – Huddles – Labor Management Partnership

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Ted Eytan, MD