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Advancing the public health workforce to achieve organizational excellence
The Nation's Health Cover Story Features the Benefits of Academic Health Department Partnerships

Date: 8/30/2018 12:40 PM

Related Categories: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Topic: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Tag: Academic Health Department, Academic Health Department Learning Community, Accreditation, Community Health Assessment, Council on Linkages, Evaluation, Infrastructure, Partnerships, Publication, Workforce Development

Author: Kathleen Amos

Kathleen Amos, MLIS, Assistant Director, Academic/Practice Linkages, Public Health Foundation
Have you seen the cover story in the August issue of The Nation's Health from the American Public Health Association? Academic Health Department Partnerships Boost Training: Joining with Schools Benefits Students highlights the value of academic health department (AHD) partnerships – formal partnerships between health departments and academic institutions – and shares examples from health departments and academic institutions that are meeting the needs of their communities through this collaborative approach.
Featuring AHD partnerships between the Knox County Health Department (TN) and University of Tennessee Department of Public Health; Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department (KS) and University of Kansas Center for Community Health and Development; Utah County Health Department (UT), Brigham Young University, and Utah Valley University; and Rhode Island Department of Health, Brown University School of Public Health, University of Rhode Island, and other universities and colleges in Rhode Island, the article shares activities these organizations are engaging in together and benefits they are seeing from this work. These examples highlight how AHD partnerships are supporting cross-sectoral approaches to achieving health equity goals; helping with components of Public Health Accreditation Board accreditation, such as community health assessments and improvement planning; preparing students for careers in public health practice; and driving policy change to improve health, among other efforts.
For many years, the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) and Public Health Foundation (PHF) have been working to support and advance the development of AHD partnerships. As discussed in The Nation’s Health article, the AHD Learning Community, which connects practitioners, educators, researchers, and others with an interest in this concept, launched in 2011 and has now grown to over 900 members. An initiative of the Council on Linkages staffed by PHF, this peer learning community provides support and guidance for developing, maintaining, and expanding AHD partnerships through a variety of activities, including a listserv for community conversation, a quarterly Ask the AHD Expert blog series, tools and resources, distance technical assistance, and a regular webinar series.
This AHD Webinar Series highlights successful AHD partnerships, is free, and is open to all who are interested in attending. Webinars are also archived online for on-demand viewing following the live event. Past presentations have discussed the AHD partnerships of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department/University of Kansas and Knox County Health Department/University of Tennessee, as well as a number of other partnerships. The most recent webinar focused on Granville Vance Public Health, a rural health department in North Carolina, and its partnership with the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. This partnership has provided support for the health department in areas such as evaluation, project management, community health assessment, data analysis, report production, and grant writing, and has helped the health department obtain $3 million in new grant funding.
Interested in learning more and getting connected? Visit the AHD Learning Community website to explore the community and the activities and resources available or share your AHD experiences and questions in the Comments section below. Ready to join the Learning Community? Contact me at to sign up today.


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