Building an Academic-Community Partnership for Increasing Representation of Minorities in the Health Professions
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 15, Number 4, November 2004
- pp. 589-602
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We evaluated collaboration among academic and community partners in a program to recruit African American youth into the health professions. Six institutions of higher education, an urban school system, two community organizations, and two private enterprises became partners to create a health career pipeline for this population. The pipeline consisted of 14 subprograms designed to enrich academic science curricula, stimulate the interest of students in health careers, and facilitate entry into professional schools and other graduate-level educational programs. Subprogram directors completed questionnaires regarding a sense of common mission/vision and coordination/collaboration three times during the 3-year project.
The partners strongly shared a common mission and vision throughout the duration of the program, although there was some weakening in the last phase. Subprogram directors initially viewed coordination/collaboration as weak, but by midway through the project period viewed it as stronger. Feared loss of autonomy was foremost among several factors that threatened collaboration among the partners. Collaboration was improved largely through a process of building trust among the partners.