Let's Build Capacity Together

Building capacity for quality improvement (QI) is a foundational goal of Primary Care Network (PCN) Evolution — and it aligns directly with key elements of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

In specialist service areas and ambulatory care programs, QI capacity enables the opportunity to achieve the recommended outcomes of the provincial wait time strategy and the reports on Chronic Disease Management (CDM) and primary care for the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). Building knowledge, skills and attributes in individuals to become strong improvement facilitators is a valuable approach to achieving these goals.

“One of the most appreciated aspects of ASII is the highly skilled instructors and their presentation style. We learned QI concepts in a practical way. It was possible for me to go back to my organization and incorporate the new content immediately into my work.”

PCN Director

With the advancement of PCN evolution and quality improvement a key foundational component to supporting primary care transformation, the investment in QI capacity and capability is paramount. An Improvement Facilitator (IF) is an individual who in his/her role is dedicated to helping identify, plan and execute improvement projects throughout a PCN, practice or ambulatory care program in primary healthcare. To perform this role effectively and efficiently, quality-improvement capability requires:

  • Advanced knowledge and skill in the Art and Science of Innovation and Improvement (ASII)
  • The ability to work with and coach health care improvement teams in family physician practices and AHS specialist physician and ambulatory care program areas
  • Skills to apply and communicate quality improvement concepts effectively with PCN and AHS teams and their leaders
  • Using an adult learning approach to QI, develop the capacity to support teams through the process of improvement and clearly articulate needed sponsorship and support when projects become stalled. 




Topics include:

  • Coaching theory, methods, and skill development
  • Adult learning principles and methods
  • Leveraging the patient voice
  • Historical foundations of improvement
  • Theories and methods of improvement
  • System of profound knowledge
  • Design and data skills needed for improvement projects
  • Innovation and creativity theory and methods
  • Tools to support innovation and improvement
  • Situating improvement in strategic and business management

The curriculum is built around the faculty’s previous experience in designing and delivering the Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and extensive experience in leading and supporting improvement projects worldwide. Through a system of instruction and learning, the content supports a foundation in innovation and improvement knowledge and skills, while fostering personal growth and development.

Program Design and Focus

The four workshop series has been developed, designed and delivered using adult learning theory and principles. Participants quickly learn the foundational principle that improving our learning and applying approaches to improve learning, is the key to healthcare quality improvement. In addition, each participant will be required to undertake a sponsor-approved improvement project that is aligned with a key business planning priority. Undertaking a project provides significant value-add that includes:

  1. The chance to achieve results in an active improvement project
  2. A living laboratory to apply learning.

Who Should Attend

Participants will be on-the-ground improvers, change-management leads, quality-improvement professionals and clinicians in improvement roles. Any person who is applying or coaching the application of quality improvement methods will benefit from this program. This course will be relevant to those with various levels of quality improvement expertise.

Workshop Dates


The four 3-day, face-to-face workshops are scheduled for:

  • October 14-16, 2015 – Edmonton
  • January 19-21, 2016 – Calgary
  • April 5-7 2016 – Calgary
  • June 21-23, 2016 – Edmonton

This 12-month professional development program includes:

  • Four three-day, face-to-face workshops
  • A series of monthly web-based sessions that occur between the 4 workshops. These provide an opportunity for participants to receive feedback on their improvement project from the faculty and fellow participants.

An informational call with faculty, coaches and prospective participants will be held on May 28th, 2015 from 10:00am – 11:00am MDT.


This program begins on September 10th, 2015 (10:00am – 11:30pm MDT) with a pre-work call.

Fees & Enrolment

Due to the intensity of this program and work on real improvement projects, we must limit the class size to 30 participants. We will be accepting applications immediately and encourage you to complete your application as soon as possible to guarantee a spot in the program.

If your application is accepted (following review by faculty), a pre-work package will be provided so you can to begin preparing for the initial meeting.

“I think more people working in primary care (not just improvement facilitators, but EDs, other managers and physicians) need to take training like ASII due to the importance placed on measurement and accountability. QI principles should always be a part of our daily practice and sustainable changes across primary care won’t happen unless everyone involved understands the importance of QI work.”

PCN Evaluation Manager

Regular Rate: $5,995.00 per participant

This includes: 

  • Twelve days of on-site workshops 
  • One copy of ‘The Improvement Guide’, 2nd Edition.
  • All program materials, tools, and literature 
  • Continental breakfasts and lunches for the twelve workshop days
  • Monthly webinars as well as coaching and mentorship calls

Registration closes: July 24th, 2015.

Additional Information

  • Meet our Faculty and Coaches: use Faculty tab (top right)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jane Taylor, Ed.D is a former hospital CEO and health care executive, and has provided improvement support and training in Canada and internationally. She is also on the faculty of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) improvement advisor course. Jane is passionate about involving patients and families on improvement teams.



Virginia (Ginna) Leigh Hamilton Crowe, RN Ed.D has over 30 years' experience in many areas and multiple levels of health care ranging from front line care delivery to management and international improvement consulting. Dr. Crowe’s practice centres on facilitating learning and improving for organizations, teams, and individuals.



John Lester is passionate about improvement, particularly when it involves teams that provide healthcare services to patients and clients. He has held a variety of positions in cardiac rehabilitation, chronic disease management, primary care management, and quality improvement in healthcare. He is currently the Lead for Facilitation for Alberta AIM where he develops and supports a provincial network of quality improvement facilitators who in turn support healthcare teams to achieve their improvement goals.


Darcy Jessen, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker who currently serves as an Area Manager with Rural Addiction and Mental Health in the Calgary Zone for Alberta Health Services. She has worked as an instructor at Mount Royal University, a Mental Health therapist, and a Manager with Shared Mental Health Care, Inpatient Psychiatry and Access Mental Health. She is also a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Brief Therapy Institute.




ASII 2015

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