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Building and Maintaining a Collaborative Culture

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Date Developed: 2011. Source: South Central Public Health Partnership. Presenter(s): W. Jack Duncan, PhD; Bryn Manzella, MPH. Type: Narrated Slide Presentation. Level: Intermediate. Length: 120 minutes.


Successful collaborations among public health professionals greatly enhance population health outcomes. This presentation discusses the importance of collaboration within public health, how to build a collaborative culture, and barriers to effective collaboration. Involving key people on a collaborative team is critical for successful collaboration, and this element is also explored. In addition, the presenters review different definitions of collaboration and flush out common themes that can be applied to all. Two interactive case studies are also discussed, in order to offer practical advice for building and maintaining collaborative teams.

Learning Objectives

• Assist in understanding your personal orientation toward collaboration.

• Examine common themes among different definitions of collaboration.

• Illustrate why collaboration is important.

• Identify the steps involved in successful collaboration.

• List the elements of a collaborating culture.

• Provide a series of factors against which your organization can be evaluated relative to the ease of collaboration.

• Identify four familiar impediments to effective collaboration.

• Demonstrate why getting the “right” people on the team is important, even critical, to effective collaboration.

• Provide a series of guidelines for forming a collaborative team.

• Offer some practical advice for building and maintaining collaborative teams.

Special Instructions

Registration to the South Central Public Health Partnership is required. For new users it will take one weekday to receive an access email. If you are registered in TRAIN, login using that username and password. Click on "Course Offerings" and search for "Building and Maintaining a Collaborative Culture". [Note: videos may not be compatible with Macs; use Internet Explorer on a PC.]

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.