Multisector Partnerships Need Further Development To Fulfill Aspirations For Transforming Regional Health And Well-Being
Author: Beth Siegel, Jane Erickson, Bobby Milstein, Katy Evans Pritchard
Regional multisector partnerships involving stakeholders in areas such as public health, health care, education, housing, and others are growing in number. These partnerships are pursuing increasingly comprehensive strategies to transform health and well-being in their communities. Most analyses of these groups rely on self-reports and case studies. These have led many in the field to form optimistic expectations about how well prepared the groups are to lead transformative efforts—that is, how “mature” they are. Few studies have systematically combined data from multiple perspectives to assess partnership characteristics against specific developmental criteria. In 2015–16 we gathered 145 nominations of regions (places) and partnerships with reputations for being relatively mature. Using a three-step assessment procedure, informed by eighty-five interviews with close observers and ten site visits, we found that most of these groups lacked certain characteristics that seem necessary to transform regional health systems. Even the more mature groups were not as well poised for transformation as their reputations implied. Our findings can help correct misperceptions and clarify ways to best support further partnership development.