Special Journal Issue of Preventing Chronic Disease Focuses on Community Partnerships to Improve Population Health

Public health activities in the United States are delivered through multiple public and private organizations that vary widely in their resources, missions and operations. Strong coordination mechanisms are needed to address gaps, inequities and inefficiencies within public health activities. A set of special essays in the November issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), presents a set of essays about partnerships toward improving community health.

In this issue, one paper focuses on broad ideas about what makes partnerships work and not work, providing several recommendations about strengthening collaborative partnerships. Another essay provides information on how the public health community can take a lead on strengthening partnerships across sectors. Another author discusses ways in which the business community can improve community health, citing several community-business coalitions that have improved their community’s health.

The set of essays was commissioned by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and as part of the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). A key component of MATCH is the County Health Rankings, the first set of reports to rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states.

The articles are the third of three MATCH-commissioned sets of essays on population health topics to appear in Preventing Chronic Disease, specifically focusing on establishing partnerships to increase accountability and put public health policies in place, will be published in the November edition of the journal. The first set of essays, which explored the selection and use of metrics in an effort to improve population health, appeared in the July issue. The second set of essays, released in September, discuss how we as a nation can create environments to protect Americans from disease and injury and increase the chances that we will all live longer, healthier lives.