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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 was 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.

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

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 and 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, and 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.

Governance and Structure

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

The Community Board was 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 p