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BMC Research Notes

, 4:387

First Online: 07 October 2011Received: 30 August 2011Accepted: 07 October 2011DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-4-387

Cite this article as: Studnicki, J., Platonova, E.A., Eiechelberger, C.N. et al. BMC Res Notes 2011 4: 387. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-4-387


BackgroundLocal public health departments LHDs in the United States have been encouraged to collaborate with various other community organizations and individuals. Current research suggests that many forms of active partnering are ongoing, and there are numerous examples of LHD collaboration with a specific organization for a specific purpose or program. However, no existing research has attempted to characterize collaboration, for the defined purpose of setting community health status priorities, between a defined population of local officials and a defined group of alternative partnering organizations. The specific aims of this study were to 1 determine the range of collaborative involvement exhibited by a study population of local public health officials, and, 2 characterize the patterns of the selection of organizations-individuals involved with LHDs in the process of setting community health status priorities.

MethodsLocal health department officials in North Carolina n = 53 responded to an exploratory survey about their levels of involvement with eight types of possible collaborator organizations and individuals. Descriptive statistics and the stochastic clustering technique of Self-Organizing Maps SOM were used to characterize their collaboration.

ResultsLocal health officials vary extensively in their level of collaboration with external collaborators. While the range of total involvement varies, the patterns of involvement for this specific function are relatively uniform. That is, regardless of the total level of involvement low, medium or high, officials maintain similar hierarchical preference rankings with Community Advisory Boards and Local Boards of Health most involved and Experts and Elected Officials least involved.

ConclusionThe extent and patterns of collaboration among LHDs with other community stakeholders for a specific function can be described and ultimately related to outcome measures of LHD performance.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-4-387 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: James Studnicki - Elena A Platonova - Chris N Eiechelberger - John W Fisher

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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