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Health Commun. 2018 Dec;33(12):1462-1474. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2017.1359033. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

Hospital-Community Partnerships: Facilitating Communication for Population Health on Columbus' South Side.

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a Department of Social Medicine , Ohio University.
b Department of Family Medicine , Ohio University.
c Group Health Research Institute , Seattle.
d The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital , Columbus , Ohio.


Previous studies have focused on the role anchor institutions play in community development. However, less attention has been directed to how hospitals can effectively partner with community-organizations and residents as part of population health efforts. This article examines community views of one initiative developed by a major American children's hospital in partnership with local community organizations. The data for this study come from 35 in-depth interviews with local residents from the neighborhood adjacent to the hospital and two interviews with hospital administrators. Our findings suggest that the contexts in which hospitals and other non-profit corporations operate pose unique challenges to effective communication. In particular, hospitals and community organizations may think differently about the merits and nature of open communication. Especially when acting as anchor institutions working beyond their formal medical expertise, hospitals may struggle to communicate the scope and goals of their non-medical work in the community.

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