Section 2: Build Effective Partnerships
A partnership can be a relationship between as few as two parties, or it can involve many individuals and organizations who come together to form a network, coalition, or consortium. Regardless of the size or form of the partnership, the basic assumption is that when individuals or organizations join together, they will be more successful in their collective efforts than they could be on their own. The strongest partnerships occur when both mutual and individual goals are served.1
Partnerships can help you:
- Better understand the needs of your target population.
- Collect data about vision impairment and eye disorders.
- Identify gaps in vision and eye care services.
- Develop culturally appropriate strategies to promote vision and eye health.
Although the idea of forming partnerships to improve vision and eye health is not new, it has been recently promoted in two influential public health documents. In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine convened a multidisciplinary expert committee to examine core principles and population health strategies to reduce vision impairment and promote eye health in the United States. The result was Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrowexternal icon, which notes that improvements in vision and eye health require coordinated efforts and partnerships that extend beyond the clinical setting.2
A report titled Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructurepdf iconexternal icon was also released in 2016 and echoes the important role that strategic partnerships play in improving and protecting public health.3
Although there is no single formula for creating the perfect partnership, this section discusses how to identify and reach out to potential partners and offers suggestions and tools to help build and sustain effective partnerships.
Additional Pages In This Section
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Engaging, Building, Expanding: An NBCCEDP Partnership Development Toolkit. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2011.
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2016.
- Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure. Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U S Dept of Health and Human Services; 2016.
- National Business Coalition on Health and Community Coalitions Health Institute. Community Health Partnerships: Tools and Information for Development and Support. Washington, DC: National Business Coalition on Health; 2013