An Academic–Community Outreach Partnership: Building Relationships and Capacity to Address Childhood Lead Poisoning
- Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2009
- pp. 53-59
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Background: Although academic institutions are rich resources for improving public health, academic partnerships with community organizations can be challenging. We describe a successful academic–community partnership composed of the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program, the Manchester (New Hampshire) Health Department, and the Greater Manchester Partners Against Lead Poisoning (GMPALP).
Objective: Partners collaborated to translate science and best practices into social action and policy change to address childhood lead poisoning.
Methods: Using the evolution of a childhood lead poisoning prevention initiative, we discuss how an academic–community relationship can be created and sustained.
Lessons Learned: Our experience demonstrates that broadbased partnerships are enhanced by the attributes of community-based participatory research (CBPR). We observe that engaging in community collaborations that are not driven by research eliminates potential conflicts for academic and community partners.
Conclusion: We identify four core values, namely, (1) adaptability, (2) consistency, (3) shared authority, and (4) trust, as being constructive when working in such partnerships.