Strengthening Partnerships between Public Health and Community-Based Organizations

Community organizations and community members, through their deep-rooted partnerships with state and local health departments, health care organizations and other organizations, come together to address the unique needs of each community.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored a need for renewed emphasis on building strong relationships between public health and communities to systematically reduce health inequities. Therefore, the CDC Foundation is leading a project to develop inclusive, community-centered recommendations that will enable public-private, multi-sector collaborations and systems-level responses to ongoing and emerging public health challenges.

With support from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund and in partnership with Human Impact Partners, the CDC Foundation is developing a set of recommendations and roadmap for building and strengthening partnerships between public health agencies and community-based organizations (CBOs).

The final recommendations aim to support public health agencies in:

  • Cultivating relationships with CBOs to better prepare and respond to future public health emergencies and to pursue more equitable solutions in routine practice.
  • More effectively promote community health objectives.
  • Sharing power with CBOs to address historical disenfranchisement in decision making.


Co-Designing Recommendations

To be relevant and actionable, our final recommendations and roadmap for strengthening public-private collaborations must reflect the varied experiences of public health department and CBO partnerships from across the U.S. To do so, we are engaging representatives from a diverse group of organizations in a range of activities, including:

  • Summer 2023: Public health department and CBO 1:1 interviews.
  • Summer/Fall 2023: Consensus-building convenings to define a set of recommendations and an initial roadmap for how to implement recommendations
  • Fall 2023: Insight sessions across the U.S. with public health departments and CBOs to refine the recommendations and roadmap.

Please email for information on upcoming project activities and/or to be added to our project listserv.


Our Partners

Human Impact Partners

National Partners:

Program Description: To work with local, state and national partners and develop a set of recommendations in the form of a roadmap on how to optimize the interface between public health and community-based organizations (CBOs) to best prepare future responses to public health emergencies and effectively promote broader community health objectives, including achieving health equity and overall community health and wellbeing.
Funding Partners:
  • Kaiser Permanente
Program Partners:
  • CDC Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support
Program Location:
  • United States of America