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Seattle Partners
|For Healthy Communities

Seattle Partners for Healthy Communities (Seattle Partners) was established in 1995 as a CDC-funded Urban Research Center. We are a multidisciplinary collaboration of community agencies, community activists, public health professionals, academics, and health providers whose mission is to improve the health of urban, marginalized Seattle communities by conducting community-based collaborative research. The goal of our research is to identify promising approaches through which communities and professionals can address the social determinants of health and thereby prevent disease and promote healthy behaviors and environments.

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Seattle Partners Mission


Seattle Partners works to improve the health and quality of life of urban, disadvantaged Seattle communities by promoting activities which are effective in preventing disease, promoting healthy behaviors and environments, and influencing the underlying social factors that affect health such as education, income, housing and economic development.

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Seattle Partners Goals


  • To increase understanding of how socioeconomic factors determine health status and identify opportunities for preventive interventions
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of strategies which may improve urban health status and reduce economic and racial inequities in health
  • To actively collaborate with community members in designing and evaluating these strategies
  • To encourage policy-makers to use effectiveness data in their decision-making process

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Community Collaboration Principles

Community collaboration is an essential element of the Center’s activities. The Center has adopted the following principles to guide this collaboration:

  • Community involved in plans and development from the beginning
  • Community partners have real influence on Center direction and activities
  • Community involved with specific projects in
  • objectives and selection
  • implementation
  • evaluation
  • The values, perspectives, contributions and confidentiality of everyone in the community are respected
  • Research process and outcomes will serve the community by
  • sustaining useful projects
  • producing long-term benefit for the community
  • developing community capacity (training and jobs)

To fully implement these principles, Seattle Partners has taken two initial steps: conducting a community interview process and establishing a community board that incorporates recommendations from community interviews.

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Governance and Structure


The structure of the Seattle Partners includes a Community Board and a Technical Advisory Group.

The Community Board is composed of an inclusive group identified initially through community interviews. The composition of the Board is a majority of community members with technical advisor representation. Roles of the Board include:

  • Determine priority areas for Seattle Partners activities & funding
  • review and approve budgets
  • review and approve grant proposals
  • determine projects for board discretionary funds
  • Participate in hiring and approve hiring decisions
  • Involvement in all aspects of projects as a group and as individuals on project-specific advisory committees
  • selection of important interventions for evaluation
  • design of project and evaluation strategy
  • participation in projects as interested
  • review interpretation of evaluation findings
  • dissemination of project results

A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has been organized and collaborators involved are the University of Washington Schools of Public Health, Nursing and Social Work, the Washington State Department of Health and Group Health Cooperative. The TAG identified two initial areas of focus:

  1. To review evaluation methodology and approaches and develop common terminology across disciplines
  2. To specifically study community participation research and receive training for working with community members in a sensitive and respectful manner.

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How to get involved?

If you live in the Seattle area and would like to get involved or are looking for more information about Seattle Partners, please print off a copy of the Seattle partners volunteer/request for information form and follow instructions on the form. Click Here For Form. You may also send an email to or call (206) 296-6818

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Seattle Partners Board Officers and Staff


Community Board Officers

  • Jim Schier, Chair
  • Gary Tang, Vice Chair
  • Molly Shaw, Secretary

Public Health - Seattle & King County

  • Jim Krieger, MD, MPH -- Principal Investigator/Co-Director
  • Sandy Ciske, MN, RN -- Co-Director
  • Kirsten Senturia, PhD -- Staff Anthropologist/DV Project
  • Marianne Sullivan, MPH -- CRC Coordinator/DV Project
  • Kathy Skrinski -- Administrative Analyst
  • Stella Gran-O’Donnell, MSW, MPH -- PAAC/CRC Project
  • Rhonda Simmons, MSW, MPH -- Rainier Beach Coordinator
  • Linda Graybird -- Clerical Support

University of Washington:

  • Allen Cheadle, PhD, School of Public Health -- Community Research Center
  • Noel Chrisman, PhD, MPH, School of Nursing -- Process Evaluation/Rainier Beach
  • Sharyne Shiu-Thornton, PhD, School of Public Health -- Domestic Violence Project

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Donna Higgins, PhD -- Seattle Research Scientist

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Seattle Partners Publications


Krieger J, Song L, Takaro T, Stout J. Asthma and the Home Environment of Low-Income, Urban Children: Preliminary findings from the Seattle-King County Healthy Homes Project. Journal of Urban Health, January 2000.

Krieger J, Castorina J, Walls M, Weaver M, Ciske S. Increasing Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunization Rates: A randomized controlled study of a senior center-based intervention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol 18, no. 2, February 2000.

Kone A, Sullivan M, Senturia K, Chrisman N, Ciske S, and Krieger J. Improving Collaboration Between Researchers and Communities. Public Health Reports, Vol 115, Nos 2 &3, March/April & May/June, 2000.

Solet D, Krieger J, Stout J. Lui,L. Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations in King County, 1987 – 1998. MMWR, 10/20/00 /49 (41); 929-933.

Krieger, J, Ciske, S. The Community as a Full Partner in Public Health Initiatives. Washington Public Health Vol 17, Fall, 2000.

Sullivan M, Kone A, Senturia K, Chrisman N, Ciske S, and Krieger J. Researcher and Researched-Community Perspectives: Toward Bridging the Gap. Health Education and Behavior, Vol 28:130-149, April 2001 .

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Weaver M, Krieger J, Walls M, Ciske S. Cost Effectiveness of Combined Outreach for the Pneumovax and Influenza Vaccine. Archives of Internal Medicine. Pending issue.

Chrisman N, Senturia K. Qualitative Process Evaluation of Urban Community Work: A Preliminary View. Submitted to Health Education and Behavior

Eisinger A, Senturia K. Doing community-driven research: an evaluative description of Seattle Partners for Healthy Communities. Journal of Urban Health Research.

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Manuscripts Submitted:

Senturia K, Chrisman N. Organizing a Complex Process Evaluation of a Community-Based Health Project. Submitted to Field Methods, 6/99 and under revision.

Krieger JW, Allen C, Cheadle A, Higgins D, Schier J, Senturia K, Sullivan M. Using community-based participatory research to address social determinants of health: lessons learned from Seattle Partners for Healthy Communities. Submitted to Health Education and Behavior, August, 2001.

Gran-O’Donnell, S, Farwell, N, Spigner, C, Nguyen, C, Ciske, S, Young,T, Stubblefield, M, Krieger, J. Youth as Assets in Multicultural Community Building: Findings from a Participatory Formative Evaluation in Seattle’s Public Housing Sites. Submitted to Health Education and Behavior, August, 2001.

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Major funding for the Health Promotion Research Center is provided by the Prevention Research Center Program of the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).