Healthier WI Partnership Program

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Community-Academic Partnership Model

Each project funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program must include a partnership between at least one community organization and one Medical College of Wisconsin faculty member. 
The partnership requirement is based on the premise that community-academic partnerships will capitalize on the strengths and unique skills of both the community-based organizations and the faculty, staff and students of the Medical College of Wisconsin in order to address a community priority. Partnerships can be in varying stages of development ranging from newly formed partnerships to well established partnerships. Regardless of the stage of development, all partnerships funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program must provide clear evidence of a commitment to and capacity to achieve the three elements of the model:


Understanding the Environment for Partnerships
Partnership applicants to the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program should provide clear evidence of an understanding of the environment for partnerships. Assessing and responding to the distinct environments within which partners operate while creating a mutually acceptable partnership environment is critical to the formation of successful partnerships.
  • Respect for the past
  • Knowledge of the needs and barriers
  • Importance of broad-based support
  • Commitment from leadership
  • Understanding of both individual attitudes and organizational structures
  • Awareness of the economics of the situation
  • Role of ongoing evaluation and feedback
  • Need for tangible returns on investment
Commitment to Partnership Principles
Partnership applicants to the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program should provide clear commitment to an agreed upon set of partnership principles. Making a commitment to an agreed-upon set of principles is critical for the long-term success of a partnership. These principles include developing common goals, building trust and respect, and understanding and emphasizing strengths and assets. Open communication and feedback are also critical, as is flexibility, to evolve. The partnership should involve mutual benefit, shared resources and shared credit.
  • Trust, respect, genuineness
  • Shared mission and goals
  • Commitment by all partners
  • Attainable, measurable objectives
  • Focus on strengths and assets
  • Open communication
  • Flexibility and compromise
  • Shared resources and credit
Partnership Development
The partnership should recognize and provide clear commitment to the stages of partnership development. When community organizations and academic institutions build relationships, it is important to understand that the partnership development goes through several stages. The partners must build relationships, assess needs, develop compatible goals, implement programs, provide feedback and assess outcomes. These stages allow partners to become better acquainted, build trust and develop ways to sustain the partnership and expand progress. Activities include:
  • Build relationships
  • Assess needs and resources
  • Develop compatible goals
  • Develop and implement programs
  • Provide continuous feedback
  • Assess outcomes
  • Maintain and expand progress



View the Community-Academic Partnership Model (PDF)





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Page Updated 01/21/2014