2016 Blue Ribbon Panel Report: Learnings on Governance from Partnerships that Improve Community Health


BRP Report

BRP Report

Community Partnership Profiles

Community Partnership Profiles

Collaborative governance—a model that unites organizations with common interests and missions in integrated thinking, planning and doing—is likely to be the governance model embraced by hospitals, health systems and their partners to improve community health. This is one of a range of findings and recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Panel study conducted by AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance with generous support from the Baxter International Foundation. The study explored how selected Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service recipients and their partners are addressing community health needs and ensuring sustainable partnership governance.

Learnings on Governance from Partnerships that Improve Community Health explores the work of community partnerships involving the following study organizations:

  • Allegiance Health (Jackson, Mich.)
  • Crozer-Keystone Health System (Springfield, Penn.)
  • Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, Mich.)
  • Memorial Hospital of South Bend/Beacon Health System (South Bend, Ind.)
  • Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center (Windsor, Vt.)
  • Palmetto Health (Columbia, S.C.)
  • St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System (Savannah, Ga.)

The report shares highlights of panel discussion on partnership structures and functions; mission, vision and sustainability; and governance. Key themes include:

  • The need for multi-sector collaboration to achieve the collective impact essential for community health improvement;
  • The role of hospitals/health systems as anchor organizations that provide partnership support;
  • Use of the Community Health Needs Assessment as a foundational resource for partnership work;
  • Differences between institutional and partnership governance and the need for principle-focused, competency- based governance structure and practices.

Principles of Collaborative Partnerships, Partnership Governance and Leadership Competencies and a Partnership Governance Readiness Assessment are among the tools and resources included in the study report, which also outlines specific recommendations for hospitals and health systems and for partnerships. We hope the findings of this study of community partnerships and their governance will provoke thoughtful discussion among your organization’s board, leaders and community partners as you work together to address the health needs of the communities you serve.

To download a PDF copy of the report, click here.

To download a PDF copy of the community partnership profiles, click here.

To purchase a hard copy of the report, visit the AHA Online Store.