A study of 12 successful hospital-public health collaborations resulted in the creation of 11 recommendations for groups seeking to work together more closely. For more insight into how hospitals are benefiting from close alignment with public health agencies, read our story, "Public Partners in Population Health," debuting online on April 14.

  1. Hospitals and public health departments should be at the core, but a broad range of partners should be included.
  2. When possible, partnerships should be framed around existing, trusting relationships among at least some of the partners.
  3. A partnership should adopt a mission and goals that focus on clearly defined, high-priority needs that will inspire community engagement and support.
  4. One or more anchor members are needed to provide financial support.
  5. A designated body with a clearly defined charter should be created.
  6. Population health concepts, definitions and principles should be well-defined and mutually understood by those involved.
  7. Community health measures, objectives, targets, metrics and tools should be selected.
  8. Develop and disseminate impact statements that measure the effects of the partnership efforts relative to the direct and indirect costs of the partnership.
  9. A deliberate strategy for broadening sources of financial support should be maintained.
  10. Boards of participating organizations should establish standing committees with oversight of their participation in the partnership.
  11. Federal, state and local agencies, hospital associations and public health associations should adopt policy stances that promote cooperation between hospitals and public health departments.
    1. Source: “Improving Community Health through Hospital-Public Health Collaboration,” Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies Inc., November 2014