Background: This research effort includes a large scale study of 109 community–academic partnership projects funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP), a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The study provides an analysis unlike other studies, which have been smaller, and/or more narrowly focused in the type of community–academic partnership projects analyzed.

Objectives: To extract themes and insights for the benefit of future community–academic partnerships and the field of community-engaged research (CEnR).

Methods: Content analysis of the final reports submitted by 109 community–academic partnership projects awards within the time frame of March 2005 to August 2011.

Results: Thirteen themes emerged from the report analysis: community involvement, health accomplishments, capacity building, sustainability, collaboration, communication, best practices, administration, relationship building, clarity, adjustment of plan, strategic planning, and time. Data supported previous studies in the importance of some themes, and provided insights regarding how these themes are impactful.

Conclusion: The case analysis revealed new insights into the characteristics of these themes, which the authors then grouped into three categories: foundational attributes of successful community–academic partnership, potential challenges of community–academic partnerships, and outcomes of community–academic partnerships. The insights gained from these reports further supports previous research extolling the benefits of community–academic partnerships and provides valuable direction for future partners, funders and evaluators in how to deal with challenges and what they can anticipate and plan for in developing and managing community–academic partnership projects.


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pp. 51-61
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