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Foster the Relationship
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Foster the Relationship


Forging a relationship between partners from a standpoint of mutual interest will help to build personal and organizational relationships that will ultimately benefit not only the current effort, but potential future collaborations. These relationships can be built through mutual respect for each other's areas of expertise, listening to one another fully, maintaining an open mind, and willingness to serve as a resource for assistance. Attending each other’s trainings, webinars, and other events can sustain involvement with one another beyond simply completing project work. Developing conversational capacity between the organizations will help to foster honest, candid conversations.


Putting this Lesson into Action


The West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center (WVU ICRC) and its various partners - including the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WDHHR) and a vast network of community stakeholders - understood the importance of fostering a relationship when engaging in such a wide-reaching project as their naloxone distribution initiative. In addition to WVU ICRC and WDHHR,  this effort included law enforcement, physicians, behavioral health specialists, and community residents, among others. This level of engagement required extensive communication, which was enabled by the partners' willingness to listen to one another, learn from each other, and remain open to change. Read more...

 In His Own Words:

Herb Linn


Herb Linn, West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center, discusses the importance of listening and learning to build relationships, and his role as a knowledge broker between the research and practice communities.




In His Own Words:

Dr. John Aldis


Dr. John Aldis of Martinsburg, West Virginia, credits the researchers at WVU ICRC with listening to his questions and concerns, and giving him the final push to "just do it."


 In Her Own Words:

Dr. Kelly Gurka


Dr. Kelly Gurka, University of Florida/West Virginia University, speaks about the benefits of entering a partnership without pre-conceived expectations, but simply with a shared goal.






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This toolkit was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number 6NU38OT000172-04-03 (CFDA #93.434), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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