Improving the Quality of Community Collaboration: Communication, Empowerment, and Diversity


Impact Statement: 
The Sedgwick County Health Department improved the quality of the collaborative process related to communication, empowerment, and recruitment of diverse people and organizations so that individuals and organizations critical to the implementation and success of its community's health improvement plan would be more actively involved in its process, resulting in better goal outcomes and health for the community.

The Partnership Assessment project’s purpose was to improve the synergy, leadership, efficiency, and benefits of the partnership and to increase the number of individuals and organizations actively engaged in the aims of the Visioneering Health Alliance—the coalition leading the community health improvement plan (CHIP). First, baseline data were needed to assess coalition member perspectives related to the partnership and the number of individuals and organizations actively engaged in the Visioneering Health Alliance’s aims. Partnership Assessment questions were pulled from an instrument created by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health (CACSH). The team created a brief as-is flowchart of the current process for inviting participation in the CHIP work, which identified an obvious flaw related to engaging more and diverse partners. The team developed a force field analysis for one opportunity for improvement—engaging diverse voices.
The team identified two solutions as key opportunities to pursue. First, Visioneering Health Alliance members and leaders and the quality improvement (QI) project team revisited the “circles of involvement” tool created with Technology of Participation (TOP) facilitation. Using the tool, the team identified additional leaders related to health issues and gathered contact information. Second, the Visioneering Health Alliance leadership wanted that new group of participants to experience a deeper connection to the Health Alliance and the CHIP process. It was suggested that current and proposed Health Alliance members participate in the Health Leadership Academy, an intensive training workshop. The team conducted a posttest of the Partnership Assessment, using only the three selected areas for improvement. The June pretest resulted in 19 respondents; the November posttest resulted in 24 respondents. The team’s dedication of time spent assessing the value of this partnership resulted in a 26% membership increase. The team achieved measurable improvements in all three areas identified as needing improvement.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Sedgwick County Health Department

Armbruster, S. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving the Quality of Community Collaboration: Communication, Empowerment, and Diversity. Thu, 11/07/2013 - 15:16. Available at Accessed March 1, 2024.

Submission Status: 
2 users have voted.


Submitted by lkent on

This is a really good example of using QI to improve the implementation phase (Action Cycle) of a CHIP. I can see this QI project being very useful for many health departments and communities that want to strengthen their collaboration efforts.

1 user has voted.

Submitted by mudavis on

This is wonderful. I would like to see the response options for each survey question in the Coalition Survey used. Currently, they are not shown. Sonja, can you re-post the coalition Survey with the response options? Thank you.

0 users have voted.

MelissaLBaker's picture
Submitted by MelissaLBaker on

When so much of community health work in public health is convening, facilitating, organizing, and engaging groups in coalition work -- which can be difficult to measure -- I am excited to see this example of how you captured progress and success. In fact, I will share this link with our LHD CHIP team lead!

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Melissa L. Baker, MPH
Community Connections Manager
Population Health Division
Buncombe County Department of Health, Asheville, NC

sarabosse's picture
Submitted by sarabosse on

I love the idea of a Health Leadership Academy, especially for non-traditional partners vital to CHIP success. We are just beginning to build our CHIP coalition and may be able apply some of these concepts to our process. Thank you for sharing.

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Sara Bosse
Fresno County Department of Public Health
Manager, Office of Policy Planning and Communication
Accreditation Coordinator

Submitted by Torney Smith on

This is a well done segment and your written materials provide easy to follow strategies. Thanks

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Submitted by sarahacker on

We're very interested in evaluating the efficitveness of our CHIP before we launch into the next round of community improvement planning. I'm interested in this tool, but I can't locate the Partnership Assessment survey anywhere, and the survey that has been uploaded seems to be encrypted. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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