Online Program

A community coalition approach to wellness promotion: Examining one community foundation's process

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Justin Heinze, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Kathryn Heinze, PhD, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
The research on promoting behavior change to improve health is both wide and deep (Glanz, Rimer & Viswanath, 2008; Roussos & Fawcett, 2000). A less-studied approach is a broad-based, comprehensive initiative engaging a whole community in encouraging, supporting, and adopting health-promoting behaviors. This research analyzes how a community wellness foundation in the Midwest creates and empowers five community coalitions to develop comprehensive wellness plans for their communities. Using a qualitative, grounded theory approach, we interviewed foundation staff and coalition members; collected archival data (e.g. meeting minutes); and conducted observations of coalition and foundation meetings. We coded and analyzed this data to examine how the coalitions formed and developed their wellness plans, and the role of the foundation in these processes. Our results suggest two network processes – brokerage and tapping into central connectors - were leveraged to 1) help foster the organic creation of diverse, grass-roots coalitions with representatives from different community groups and 2) connect coalitions with one another to share best practices and support one another. At the same time, the foundation provided coalitions with a guiding framework (of steps, deliverables, understandings). Together, these top-down and bottom-up processes led to the assembly of coalitions with broad-reach and a sense of ownership; and enabled them to formulate wellness plans that are based on legitimate field-level models, and yet rooted in local needs and wants (local legitimacy). We will 1) discuss the role of wellness foundations in shaping community health, and 2) evaluate components of two coalitions' comprehensive wellness plans.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of wellness foundations in shaping community health. Evaluate components of two coalitions’ comprehensive wellness plans.

Keyword(s): Community Involvement, Coalition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research interests focus on the social determinants of health, especially in times of transition. This study represents a unique intersection of both social and organization transition, and how competing interests can align around a common goal.
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.