Pre-Conference Core Concepts Workshop

June 15 – 19, 2020
Anchorage, Alaska

Southcentral Foundation welcomes pre-conference participants to its three-day, interactive workshop with small learning circles, where communication techniques and tools are taught as a foundation for building and maintaining effective relationships. The workshop, which is offered regularly at SCF and is attended by all SCF employees, is fundamental to improving customer satisfaction, encouraging teamwork and supporting shared decision-making. It provides best practices for listening and responding to story, which is heavily tied to Alaska Native and American Indian culture. The training is led by SCF’s President/CEO and SCF leadership. To get the most out of this training, attendees should arrive on time and participate for the entire three days. There are ample breaks and opportunities to network.

“The Core Concepts idea is still fresh for me and certainly, it will take some time to get fully involved; but I must admit SCF Core Concepts works. It connects people and builds relationships and I can still feel a close connection with my learning circle of friends at the Southcentral Foundation.”

– Harold D. Goings, Jr. II M.A.M, Talent Management Officer

“Storytelling is a very powerful tool that touches the heart. It has touched my heart. It gladdens my heart that all of you in leadership and governance are prepared to share, to make your life an open book; how you’ve had healing through building relationships in your system of care.”

– Chee Yam Cheng, Previous CEO, National Healthcare Group, Singapore

“What has touched me in a very personal way is the power of narrative; it’s actually something I’ve thought about and that I’ve taught about, but never in the way that I experienced in Core Concepts. I personally had the experience of sharing my story and it will be something that I can bring home and share with my patients and my students in a way that I couldn’t have before.”

– Russell S. Phillips, Director of the Harvard Center for Primary Care



8 – 11:15 a.m.Welcome and Introduction
• Southcentral Foundation Overview
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.Context and Purpose of Core Concepts Training
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.Lunch Break
1:15 – 1:30 p.m.Wellness Activity
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.Background and History
2:30 – 3:15 p.m.Sharing a Story
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.Sharing Story and Responding
4:45 – 5 p.m.Tying it all together


8 – 8:15 a.m.Welcome, Check in and Overview of Day
8:15 – 10 am.Sharing a Story
10 – 11 a.m.Mental Models – Ladder of Inference
11 a.m. – NoonQuality Interactions: 4 Practices & Flow of Conversation
Noon – 1 p.m.Lunch Break
1 – 1:15 p.m.Left-Hand Column
2:15 – 3 p.m.Sharing Story
3 – 3:45 p.m.Relational Styles
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.4 Player Model
4:45 – 5 p.m.Tying it all Together


8 – 8:30 a.m.Welcome, Check in and Overview of Day
8:30 – 9:30 am.Sharing a Story
9:30 – 9:45 a.m.Sharing Story Preparation
9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Sharing Stories
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.Lunch Break
1:30 – 1:45 p.m.Wellness Activity
1:45 – 2:30 p.m.Personal Vision and Creative Tension
2:30 – 3 p.m.Review of Training
3 – 5 p.m.Large Group Debrief

Based on an SCF study that looked at customer-owner (SCF’s term for patient) quality of care, customer-owners who report having a strong relationship with their primary care provider are more likely to report having a strong health rating. Core Concepts helps providers and other care workers build these strong relationships with customer-owners.

Core Concepts also encourages SCF employees to engage fully with their jobs and the people they work with. Based on a 2015 SCF organizational employee satisfaction survey, employees who felt supervisors used Core Concepts tools indicated a higher satisfaction rating with the supervisor. Additionally, based on a 2016 SCF employee engagement survey, 61 percent of employees said Core Concepts improved relationships with their coworkers.

Understand how you impact others by:

  • Understanding your relational style
  • Understanding how your experiences contribute to how you approach others

Learn how to articulate your story from the heart:

  • Understand the power of empathy and compassion for yourself and others

Understand your personal and professional aspirations:

  • Opportunity to align your aspirations, intents and behaviors
  • Understand how you can create shared vision

Learn methods for good dialogue and productive conversations:

  • Understand the impact of intentions
  • Understand how to listen effectively
  • Understand how good dialogue and productive conversations will affect your organization
  • Explore tools for having good conversations

An SCF-led, post-training survey was conducted after the 2015 pre-conference Core Concepts workshop with about 60 responses, which was approximately a 94 percent response rate.

Ability to speak to people at every level, ability to make this comfortable and trust each other and inspired hope for change…Will be the change I want to see.

Just fabulous. One of my best to life experiences. And I tend to be an opposer so I really mean that!

Profound experience. Sublime facility. Truly nurturing of our humanness. Your vision is beautiful! I wish this were a part of every helping profession (or any professional) education!

[Core Concepts] helps me appreciate people – their personalities and the reminder that everyone has a story,” a participant explained. “It helps me treat others with kindness and understanding. Everyone is fighting a battle at some point.

• 99 percent indicated they understood how Core Concepts assists them with relating to the people they serve.
• 97 percent indicated they will use the information at Core Concepts to improve their agency.
• 20 percent increase in reported understanding of how his/her past experience and/or relational style affects his/her approach with others
• 25 percent increase in reported understanding of the importance of supporting the development of relationship building skills to improve health care

After attending Core Concepts at SCF, several organizations decided to incorporate the workshop into their workforce development. If this is something you or your organization are interested in doing, please Contact Us.

Additional Resources

Blog Post

Information on how traditional values help guide SCF’s Core Concepts


Investigation on the impact of primary care provider & patient relationships on health outcomes


Article describing the process of creating and implementing Core Concepts training at SCF