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Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Mar;51(1-2):206-16. doi: 10.1007/s10464-012-9515-9.

Rural Embedded Assistants for Community Health (REACH) network: first-person accounts in a community-university partnership.

Author information

1
University of Texas School of Public Health, El Paso Regional Campus, El Paso, TX, USA. louis.d.brown@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

Community research and action projects undertaken by community-university partnerships can lead to contextually appropriate and sustainable community improvements in rural and urban localities. However, effective implementation is challenging and prone to failure when poorly executed. The current paper seeks to inform rural community-university partnership practice through consideration of first-person accounts from five stakeholders in the Rural Embedded Assistants for Community Health (REACH) Network. The REACH Network is a unique community-university partnership aimed at improving rural health services by identifying, implementing, and evaluating innovative health interventions delivered by local caregivers. The first-person accounts provide an insider's perspective on the nature of collaboration. The unique perspectives identify three critical challenges facing the REACH Network: trust, coordination, and sustainability. Through consideration of the challenges, we identified several strategies for success. We hope readers can learn their own lessons when considering the details of our partnership's efforts to improve the delivery infrastructure for rural healthcare.

PMID:
22547002
PMCID:
PMC3437235
DOI:
10.1007/s10464-012-9515-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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