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Find Each Other's Strengths
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Find Each Other's Strengths


Partnerships are never a one-way street. Neither the researcher nor the practitioner is the sole contributor to the effort, and while they share a common goal, their strengths are generally different. For example, while researchers contribute a big-picture view of the evidence base, state partners have extensive on-the-ground knowledge of state and local activities and priorities. At the local level, partners know their communities thoroughly and can reliably provide perspective on what will and will not work in their region. Neither partner brings more strengths to the table; rather, they bring different strengths. Knowing one another’s strengths will help in project planning and implementation, and using them to strategically achieve goals will maximize the partnership’s potential for success.


Putting this Lesson into Action


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the University of Rochester/Education Development Center Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S) are using each other's strengths to develop a comprehensive statewide prevention strategy in Colorado. The partnership is augmented by the Colorado-National Collaborative, a group of 13 state and national leaders in suicide prevention, as well as the Suicide Prevention Commission of Colorado, which was established through legislation and comprises 26 cross-sector stakeholders. Though the ICRC-S continually stresses the importance of Colorado's ownership of the process, they brought strengths such as credibility and expertise to the table, while CDPHE brought extensive knowledge of their state's environment, capacities, and state/local partners. Read more...


In His Own Words:

Jarrod Hindman


Jarrod Hindman, Deputy Chief of the Violence and Injury Prevention-Mental Health Promotion Branch at CDPHE, talks about how leveraging each partner's strengths has benefited project planning for Colorado's suicide prevention initiative, and will continue to aid in implementation.




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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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