202948 Nurturing authentic university/community partnerships to address health disparities: The UIC Healthy City Collaborative

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 12:45 PM

Cynthia A. Barnes-Boyd, MSN, PhD, FAAN , Neighborhood Initiatives, Great Cities Institute, Director Healthy City Collaborative, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Janine Lewis, MPH , Health Promotions, Westside Health Authority/Coordinator UIC Healthy City Collaborative, Chicago, IL
The persistence of health disparities and social inequities in the shadows of university campuses highlights the need to strengthen relationships between universities, where knowledge and innovation are created and their host communities where life-changing discoveries can have immediate impact. Of equal importance to the timely translation of research for practical application is the quality of the relationship between these unique partners which bring different but equally valuable resources and wisdom to the partnership. However, institutional arrogance, cultural and historical differences often introduces barriers to developing authentic university/community partnerships. The Healthy City Collaborative was launched with a bold statement of purpose…to change the culture of an urban research university such that authentic partnerships, a state defined through consensus building processes, could develop and thrive. The collaborative was introduced in three phases that supported different levels of partnerships that: 1) created a multidisciplinary workgroup that supports collaborations between internal centers and institutes that are involved in community research, education or service; 2) engages community based-organizations and organizers in supportive partnerships and; 3) links these partners to public serving organizations such as the Chicago Department of Public Health. The HCC has guided partnerships that have resulted in the creation of new centers such as a Center of Excellence for Eliminating Health Disparities, the Center for Faith, Health and Community Transformation and the Chicago Community Based Participatory Research Network. The implementation included preparing the university to adopt a ‘facilitating' versus ‘directing role' and identifying trust-inhibiting behaviors. To engage the community, a citywide forum was held to provide a final opportunity to discard history-laden baggage and begin the process of developing a common research agenda. The strategies used to sustain the HCC are grounded in principles of relationship management and systems change. This discussion will address the planning, challenges, achievements and early evaluation of the HCC.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the evolution of the UIC Healthy City Collaborative Identify characteristics of

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Research Agenda

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director and primary decision maker for the development, implementation and evaluation of the program to be reviewed.
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.