Partnerships and Coalitions
Local health departments are the stewards of local public health. As a convener of public health at the local level, local health departments engage community stakeholders in a wide-range of outreach activities on a regular basis. Some engagement activities include:
Public Health Partnerships and CoalitionsGiven the current state of available resources, it is essential for local health departments to engage community partners in the business of protecting the public’s health. When independent outreach to community groups does not sufficiently accomplish the desired goal, local health departments can establish informal partnerships and formal coalitions.
By combining the expertise, sensibilities, and resources of local health departments, business and labor groups, academia, health professional associations, health care providers, community activists, consumers, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies, a public health partnership or coalition can:
The Role of Communications in a Partnership or CoalitionThe secret to every effective partnership is communications. Communications is often the glue that holds a group together. It also represents the face of the group to the public.
In many cases, local health departments are best suited to coordinate a group’s communications efforts to ensure that the group’s messages and strategies are consistent with those of the department. If the local health department is not equipped to take the lead, it should substantively contribute to all group communications.
Tip: Seek Input From Partners Prior to Making Decisions About Communications
In developing messages for the public, "What do you think about this?" is a useful and welcome approach.