How co-developed are community and academic partnerships?

Viva Dadwal, Lopa Basu, Christine M. Weston, Sandra Hwang, Chidinma Ibe, Lee Bone, Romsai Tony Boonyasai, Janice Gentry, Leon Purnell, Albert W. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The world-renowned resources of Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) in Baltimore, Maryland, stand in marked contrast with the surrounding impoverished neighborhoods. Community-based organizations (CBOs) are critical frontline responders to residents’ needs. Baltimore CONNECT, an academic–community partnership, co-developed an intervention to strengthen connections between CBOs and between CBOs and the health care system. Objectives: To understand how members of an academic– community partnership define the act of “co-development” and share perceptions of barriers, facilitators, and ways to measure it. Methods: We conducted semistructured interviews with 15 community partners, academic partners, and external stakeholders. Results: Partners conceptualized co-development as a fluid and evolving process that is the outcome of shared decision making. This exploration revealed nuances within partnership dynamics, including motivations for participation, underlying incentives, partnership equality, balance of power, and trust and relation building. Conclusions: We present insights that can be used by academic researchers and community leaders looking to co-develop interventions to improve health in urban communities domestically and internationally. JHH in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the most highly regarded hospitals in the United States. However, its institutional resources stand in marked contrast with those available to the impoverished neighborhoods that surround it. Many have called for JHH to play a greater role in the surrounding community, where it serves as a leading source of health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Academic medical centers
  • Community health partnerships
  • Community health research
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health disparities
  • Power sharing
  • Social conditions
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Urban health
  • Urban population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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