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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182140c2f
Original Article

Collaborative Research: Empowering Students and Connecting to Community

Mills-Dick, Kelly MSW; Hull, Jessie Mia BSW

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Abstract

Public health social work is committed to improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Collaborative partnerships can be a tremendous resource and valuable approach to meeting community needs. This article discusses the essential role of partnership and community learning through the case study of a student-faculty team engaged in collaborative research on homelessness in upstate New York in an effort to inform the development of a community affordable housing plan. The goals of the project were to (1) improve understanding of homelessness at the local level, (2) contribute to community planning efforts to end homelessness, and (3) enrich public health social work skills. This case study describes the various ways in which collaboration is cultivated and infused throughout the life of a project. The authors reflect on benefits and challenges of collaboration, and suggest considerations for designing collaborative research projects. This article discusses the impact faculty-student and college-community collaborative partnerships can have on expanding knowledge and enhancing community well-being.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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