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Make it Operational
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Make it Operational


Partnerships should not be a one-time initiative, but an ongoing relationship in which the organizations prioritize continued interaction, building it into their culture and practice. This could include making partnerships part of grant requirements, tenure review, mission and vision statements, and other operational functions. To facilitate this, benefits of the partnership model—including the bi-directional exchange of information; shared funding and other resources; and programmatic success—should be championed and promoted. Universities and state health departments are both hierarchical, and leadership may be skeptical of engaging in an activity for which indications of effectiveness may seem costly and time-consuming. Demonstrating the successes of a longstanding partnership may help to dispatch some of these concerns. 


Putting this Lesson into Practice


Partnering with one another comes naturally to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy (JHCIRP). The two organizations have been working together for many years on a variety of different injury and violence prevention initiatives and actively seek new ways to engage one another when pursuing new projects. The featured effort, which examines implementation of sexual assault bystander intervention programs on college campuses, brought a PhD student from the Bloomberg School of Public Health to MDHMH to assist in evaluation efforts. The organizations' relationship continues to flourish as they discover new opportunities to work together and use each other's unique strengths to maximize their public health impact. Read more...


 In Their Own Words:

Mitchell Doucette and Genevieve Polk


Mitchell Doucette (JHCIRP) and Genevieve Polk (MDHMH) discuss the ways in which their organizations have made their collaborative relationship operational, including sharing resources and jointly hosting training events.



In Her Own Words:

Dr. Shannon Frattaroli


Dr. Shannon Frattaroli (JHCIRP) describes how her organization and MDHMH automatically think of one another and reach out when new opportunities to collaborate arise.






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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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