Program Personnel Management and Support
In addition to staff employed at AF chapters and state health departments, there are various program personnel who are involved in program implementation including leaders/ instructors, trainers and national trainers (see box below for definitions.)
PROGRAM PERSONNEL: Umbrella term used for leaders, instructors and trainers. They may be laypersons, professionals, paid employees or volunteers, employed by or affiliated with a partnering organization or independent contractors who teach at one or more locations.
Two issues affect the efficiency of the manpower involved in program dissemination. The first is staff time allocation. According to the 2006 AF/CDC Infrastructure Needs Assessment Survey, staff wear many hats. They may lead courses or training workshops, manage program logistics, conduct community outreach/ marketing activities, manage program volunteers and other personnel, analyze and report program data and build partnerships. AF chapter staff also may be responsible for other education and services activities, advocacy, community development and fundraising.
The second issue is that many newly trained leaders and instructors never teach after receiving training or they only teach for a short period of time. Instructors who are not affiliated with an organization have more difficulty continuing to teach because they lack organizational support. Those in a facility tend to teach longer and reach more people.
A comprehensive management and support system focuses staff, volunteers and paid program personnel on working together in a mutually supportive team effort to reach more people with arthritis. This management system includes the following activities:
- Clarify roles: define roles and expectations of staff versus volunteer/ program personnel and understand how each contributes to the common goals
- Empower program personnel: enable experienced instructors and trainers and organize them into workgroups or task forces to take over some staff roles, allowing staff to focus on being the broker/facilitator of system partnerships
- Ensure ongoing support: provide a supportive structure and activities to help retention including:
- recruit and train individuals affiliated with a system partner that will provide organizational support
- track teaching and training activities
- provide AF certification and recertification
- provide ongoing communications
- provide recognition
- Create interdisciplinary AF staff teams: ensure that within AF chapters, program and development staff work together on the community development model (including community assessments and organizing volunteers) and to approach corporate system partners.