“The PARTNER Tool was incorporated as part of a high level evaluation of the local public health system (LPHS). Stakeholders had never before come together to participate in a system wide evaluation. Therefore, it was important to establish a baseline. PARTNER provided the visual feedback that depicts a resilient system with multiple relationships. Stakeholders were able to see how they could use PARTNER to evaluate relationships within an organization and relationships between organizations. Emergency Management and various non-profits were extremely interested in the application for their respective organizations.
Knowing how organizations perceive each other in terms of leadership and community connections has helped us determine who we will seek out to take the lead as we move forward. Our work will require high levels of trust and reliability, which are present among stakeholders to ensure completion of the community health needs assessment, community health improvement plan, and strategic planning.
As the Manager, PARTNER is easy to use. We will be able to track strength of relationships and opportunities of growth over time. Finally the PARTNER Tool will assist with strategic planning.”Dr. Lisa Campbell, DNP, RN, APHN-BC
Doctor of Nursing Practice, Public Health Nursing
Director, PopulationHealth Consultants, LLC
“Our team used the PARTNER Tool to assess a partnership that sustains and evolves a community garden located at an urban medical center. The community garden is in a process of rapid developmental growth, so assessing the collaboration that supports the garden was essential to help guide future directions. The PARTNER Tool allowed our team to easily survey, analyze, and communicate the findings of our collaborative assessment. We discovered our strengths and identified key areas for improvement. We found relatively high levels of collaboration among our community partners, and were also able to identify where ties could be strengthened to benefit not only the garden program but the surrounding community as well. While the most important collaborative outcome reported was “increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” other partners reported a variety of outcomes including “improved resource sharing,” “increased knowledge sharing,” “new sources of data,” “public awareness,” and “improved health outcomes.” Exploration of these additional outcomes will provide insight on future directions of the community garden and redefining its role in the community. The PARTNER Tool provides a user-friendly method for social network analysis. We plan to continue using the tool to evaluate and track additional community health partnerships.”Brandy-Joe Milliron
Cancer Control & Survivorship Research Department of Social Sciences & Health Policy Division of Public Health Sciences
Winston-Salem, NC
Mario Rivera

Mario Rivera

“The PARTNER website made an otherwise daunting task very doable. I needed to use Social Network Analysis (SNA) to evaluate a local public health agency’s access to health care coalition. I am not an expert at SNA but was able to complete a successful evaluation thanks to the PARTNER tool. What made using it exceptional for me was that not only did I find the questions, measures, and dimensions included in the PARTNER tool to be applicable ‘as is’ but in addition, I was able to customize certain questions to make it even more relevant. Using the PARTNER tool saved me from attempting to develop a SNA from scratch and likely miss important parts of the evaluation. I plan on using the PARTNER tool anytime I conduct a SNA and highly recommend it!”Mario Rivera
MS, Program Evaluator Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Denver, CO
Project Profile: A Social Network Analysis of Partners of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Oral Health Unit
Lea Ayers LaFave, PhD, RN

Lea Ayers LaFave, PhD, RN

“We have worked with Dr. Varda over the past two years, and utilized the PARTNER tool to assess the collaborative function of community-based quality improvement learning teams. The PARTNER tool has enabled us to assess how we work together for health improvement planning and identify how we can target our efforts to optimize capacity development. The application for measuring outcomes is especially helpful in documenting the value of our work, particularly since they can be modified to meet the specific needs of the collaborative. Dr. Varda is accessible and responsive to our unique education and application needs. It is a pleasure to work with Dr. Varda and her team.”Lea Ayers LaFave, PhD, RN, MLC-3 Project Director
Community Health Institute/JSI
Bow, NH
Project Profile: State and Regional Network Development for Substance Abuse Prevention in New Hampshire
Project Profile: Multistate Learning Collaborative: Lead States in Public Health Quality Improvement
“The results of this assessment allowed our partnership to take a deeper look at our structure and assess whether it was fully meeting our goals for the collaborative. This assessment forced us to examine some of the partnership characteristics that we may not have otherwise brought to the table for discussion. We liked how PARTNER incorporated a range of elements into its measures, such as trust, engagement, and resources and didn’t only look at just who is connected to who.”Lisa Scott Lehman, President
Mountville, PA
“Our team used the PARTNER tool to assess our partnerships both internal and external to our organization. The PARTNER tool led us successfully through the process of developing the survey. The process was easy enough that we are exploring the possibility of another survey to capture additional data. The maps were helpful in identifying where we might be over-partnering and in identifying where there was potential for new, strategic partnerships. The most useful results, however, existed within the assessment of trust, resource contribution, participation, openness to discussion, etc. as those data captured the quality of partnerships. Having acquired this data early in our team development, I am hopeful that we will be able to track progress as our collaboration matures.”Heather J. Dubiel, MS, RN, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Denver, CO
Julia Ruschmann

Julia Ruschmann

Our organization used the PARTNER tool in two ways: first, to assess the level of confidence and trust community partners had for the health department, and second, to assist us in developing our strategic plan. Assessing the quality of our partnerships with other agencies and our performance level were essential in order to move forward with our vision of a developing a healthier community. Learning what our partners thought we did well in addition to what needed improvement and expansion is invaluable to our strategic planning process. Dr. Varda understood the unique needs of our organization and was able to assist us in tailoring the tool to fit our needs. The PARTNER tool was easy to use and rendered understandable, viable results.Julia Ruschmann, Community Projects Director
Bay County Health Department
Panama City, Florida
Project Profile: Bay County Health Department: Translating Research for Public Health Practice
“Working with Dr. Danielle Varda and using the PARTNER tool transformed the work our collaborative (a Partnership for Health Initiative funded by The Colorado Trust) was doing. We moved from having an anecdotal understanding of the system of care for babies and young children with special health care and developmental needs to being able to empirically characterize the system, quantify relationships among stakeholders and participants in the system, and evaluate systems change as a result of our colloborative efforts. In collaboration with Dr. Varda, we have developed an approach that allows us to better understand how the personal networks created by families to meet their children’s needs correspond to the system of care developed by agencies and organizations. Using data from the social network analysis has inspired conversations and innovations about how to create a comprehensive, coordinated, and family-centered system for young children and their families.”Ayelet Talmi, PhD
WONDERbabies Partnership for Health
University of Colorado Denver
Project Profile: WONDERbabies Partnership for Health (Ways Of Nurturing Development through Enhancing Relationships)