196785 Communication and Collaboration Between Local Boards of Health and Their Communities: A National Survey

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:50 PM

Marie M. Fallon, MHSA, EdD (c) , National Association of Local Boards of Health, Bowling Green, OH
Charles E. Moon, PhD , National Association of Local Boards of Health, Bowling Green, OH
The purpose of the presentation is to address the following questions: (a) How do boards of health receive community input? (b) How do boards of health actively seek community input? (c) Are public forums created for discussion of issues that the board must address? (d) Do boards of health have working relationships with community-based organizations? (e) What are the most productive methods of communication and what issues involving communication can be overcome by innovative collaborations? One of the essential elements of effective local boards of health is the development of novel collaborations across sectors of communities. Local boards of health, populated by leaders in the public health domain, are in a unique position to facilitate the cultivation of such collaborations. A prerequisite to building strong working relationships with various segments of the community is communication. If boards of health have adopted systematic methods for establishing and maintaining effective communication with key constituencies of the community, then a foundation for creating innovative collaborations is present. The 2008 Local Board of Health National Profile produced data that addresses the research questions from a national sample of 870 chairs of local boards of health. Evidence suggests boards of health use somewhat passive methods of communication with their communities. There is substantial evidence that boards of health have collaborative relationships with community-based organizations. To sustain effective working relationships with their communities, boards of health should be innovative when confronting the unique public health problems of the community. Unresolved communication issues are discussed and implications are drawn for creating and evaluating innovative collaborations to help promote resolution.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the extent to which local boards of health receive and actively seek community input on public health problems and issues. 2. Describe the extent to which public forums are created by boards of health for discussion of issues that boards must address. 3. Assess the degree to which boards of health have working relatonships with community-based organizations. 4. Identify methods by which boards of health communicate with key constituencies to build collaborative relationships in their communities. 5. Discuss unresolved issues involving communication between boards of health and their communities that innovative collaborations could help overcome.

Keywords: Communication, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in educational psychology with a major in quantitative methods. I am the Deputy Director of the National Association of Local Boards of Health having a primary responsibility for evaluation and research projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.