Parkland Building Trust Challenge

Parkland Health & Hospital System is one of the largest public hospital systems in the country, averaging more than 1 million patient visits annually. The system also includes 20 community-based clinics, 12 school-based clinics, numerous outreach, and education programs, and is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center.


Dedicated to operating a health care organization centered on trust, Parkland staff identified problem areas that they believed would benefit from quality improvement initiatives. These initiatives included:

  • Addiction Psychiatry Services: Parkland’s Consult Liaison Psychiatry Team identified growing rates of acute hospitalizations and hospital readmissions in patients with substance use disorder.
  • The Village Project: Parkland’s HIV Services Department identified a health care delivery gap for HIV+ young Black Men who have Sex with Men (BMSM).
  • Supporting Parkland Staff (SPARKS): Parkland leaders identified the intense need for a peer support program, just before the Dallas police shootings in July of 2016.
  • Rapid Integrated Group Healthcare Team (RIGHT Care): Parkland staff identified the need for improvement in crisis intervention response for people in mental health crises.


In collaboration with the ABIM Foundation and America’s Essential Hospitals, Parkland conducted its inaugural Building Trust Challenge from January – March 2020. The Challenge was hosted by Parkland’s Center for Innovation and Value and Patient Relations departments and was designed to identify who was building trust within and outside of the institution.

Parkland first launched its Building Trust Challenge by creating an organization-wide survey, asking each department eight questions, starting with, ‘What does building trust mean to you?,’ and cascading to, ‘Are you building trust in your area?’ The survey was first socialized by Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, President and CEO, and Kavita Bhavan, MD, MHS, Chief Innovation Officer, Center for Innovation and Value, at the executive level, and was later shared through various Parkland platforms, including: a letter signed by the CEO sent to the organization, weekly newsletter, and discussion at various meetings, including a population health forum. The survey received 36 submissions; surpassing initial expectations, and creating the go-ahead to launch.

Read about the keys to success in the full case study, and learn more about conducting your own Building Trust Challenge.