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Initial Steps in Creating Community Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities: An Assessment Of Local Community Agencies In Northern Colorado
American Public Health Association (2010)
  • Ashley D Walker, Georgia Southern University
  • Jill Bezyak, University of Northern Colorado
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, University of Northern Colorado
Purpose: Partnerships between organizations can prove to be beneficial for all entities involved. An effective community partnership will move beyond data driven initiatives to ignite a greater commitment to a community's quality of life. Community partnerships also increase the likelihood public health programming will be community-based, instead of ‘placed'. The purpose of the study was to conduct a needs assessment of community agencies in Northern Colorado in order to describe the current status and future need for community partnerships. Methods and Results: A mixed methods design consisting of an online survey and focus groups was used. The sample for the online survey consisted of 55 individuals employed at local human service agencies. Results indicate a majority of participants endorse strong agency support of community partnerships (92.8%), and report adequate resources available for the development and improvement of community partnerships (87.1%). When asked if agency employees or local residents have been interviewed about community health needs and disparities, the overall response was more negative. The qualitative portion of the study was conducted using two focus groups. The focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant-comparative method to identify significant themes that emerged during the focus group dialogue. The identified themes included barriers and solutions to service delivery and community partnerships. Conclusions: The results from this study provide the initial steps needed to effectively develop community partnerships and it provides valuable lessons learned about community engagement, which is a crucial component in the ongoing effort to eliminate health disparities. Learning Areas: Assessment of individual and community needs for health education; Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice; Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs; Other professions or practice related to public health; Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs; Public health or related research. Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the importance of community engagement and community partnerships in the elimination of health disparities. 2. Identify three benefits of developing community partnerships in their local area. 3. Apply practical guidelines to develop of community partnerships.
  • Community-based partnership,
  • Health disparities
Publication Date
November, 2010
Citation Information
Ashley D. Walker, Jill Bezyak, and Elizabeth Gilbert. "Initial Steps in Creating Community Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities: An Assessment Of Local Community Agencies In Northern Colorado" American Public Health Association. Denver, CO. Nov. 2010.