It's about how we treat one another.

Center for Appreciative Practice logo
COVID-19 Resources: Community Narratives of Teamwork, Positive Moments, and Connectedness
Established in 2007 by University of Virginia's Schools of Medicine and Nursing, its top-ranked Medical Center and University Physicians Group (UPG), the Center for Appreciative Practice purposefully nurtures a collaborative culture that "moves as one."
That means approaching challenging, high-stakes environments by encouraging positive energy, dialogue, inquiry and reflection to promote change, rather than by issuing mandates. We begin our conversations with a single, deceptively simple question: What do we look like when we're at our best?
As consultants, we work with a wide variety of groups both in and outside of the university to facilitate improvements in clinical care, education and interprofessional communication, seamlessly interfacing with experts across disciplines, including Center for Interprofessional Collaborations and Compassionate Care Initiative. Interested in seeing what our process of appreciative inquiry can do for your group? Contact us.
We've also published our appreciative practice story: Appreciative Inquiry in Healthcare: Positive Questions to Bring out the Best, an encyclopedia designed to guide readers through the positive change process.
Regardless of the group or area of focus, we're always guided by these principles:
  • We engage and empower people at all levels
  • We foster and grow curiosity and creativity, individually and institutionally
  • We value input from all levels, and consider the impact of change on all levels
  • We are conscious and committed members of our community

Think your organization could benefit from a visit from Center for Appreciative Practice consultants? Contact us today!

What they said

Can the Center for Appreciative Practice help you?  Here's what some past participants said.

The morning summit session was delightful. The moderators did a nice job of guiding us through the premise of appreciative inquiry, allowing us to put it to work within our groups and then sharing with all of the participants. In addition, this provided us the opportunity to get to know the people at our tables, many of whom we had never met before.

Patti Grady, Practice Site Manager, Heart & Vascular Institute, Penn State Health

This Summit definitely met the goals of defining HVI as it is when we are at our best and identifying the fundamental qualities to make that happen! It was an incredibly positive experience to start with the best of what is currently in place rather than focusing on what’s broken.

Melanie Keller, Lead Quality Improvement Advisor, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health

CAP faculty "... proved an invaluable resource for the Batten School’s comprehensive planning effort. With highly skilled facilitation our community engaged in game-changing conversations about how to leverage our strengths, highlighting Batten’s vision to redefine leadership and public policy education for the 21st century. The appreciative inquiry framework provided a much-needed catalyst and focused opportunity for us to collectively identify those areas where our organization genuinely has potential to become world-class. A refreshing and invaluable perspective that is often lost of forgotten with the divisive rhetoric of the day.”

Bill Ashby, Associate Dean, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

"My learning about appreciative inquiry had been on my own for the past couple of years, but then I was able to see Julie Haizlip and Natalie May in action, and met people from all over the world."

Amy J. Armstrong, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Chair VCU, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling

About our logo

The Center for Appreciative Practice's logo – a collage of the University of Virginia Rotunda – was created by Lucia Cushman, an 87-year old woman, nearly blind from macular degeneration, who constructed her art with paint peeled from the oft-adorned Beta Bridge on Rugby Road near the main grounds of the University.

The original of this piece was given as a gift to Ms. Cushman’s physician, Danny Becker who, in turn, allowed us to use it.

We immediately felt a kinship with this paint chip collage. Appreciative Inquiry is all about reframing and transformation. What could be more transformative than turning old paint chips into a thing of beauty and joy?