Community Partnerships by ProQuest


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									              Guest Editorial
                                                                                                                                    By Chris Kaiser

               Community Partnerships
               To be an effective partner you have to be an active one

                 I’m not really good at making up new names for numbers,             If your ambulance service wants to partner with the
               but if I had to, I think “kuhdillion” is the number I’d use to      community, how would you go about it? Well, you could do
               describe how many times I’ve seen organizations claim to            what some organizations do and just include the phrase “We
               “partner with their community” or be “community partners”           will partner with our community to…” at the beginning of
               in an effort to follow their mission statement. In fact, the        your mission statement, but that doesn’t accomplish much
               biggest number of claims to be “community partners” I’ve            other than giving some administrative types a warm feeling.
               seen seem to exist only within those mission statements.            To really get to the nuts and bolts of doing this takes a plan.
                 It seems everyone wants to be a “community partner” these         It takes buy-in (yet another buzzword) from street-level
               days, and that’s a good thing…if it is actively pursued and         providers, and it takes a lot of administrative support and
               actually accomplished. Otherwise, it’s just another claim on        giving crews leeway to make decisions.
               some company’s mission statement that exists solely to help           First, you need a plan and objectives. What do you need
               refashion the words “utilize synergy” to actual words that          from your community to better serve your service’s mission?
               mean something.                                                     What community organizations should you engage with to

“If your
                 What does “partnering with our community” really mean?
               First, it takes a noun and twists it into a verb, which is some-
               thing I dislike from a purely grammatical sense (ever heard
                                                                                   establish your partnership? What can you offer the commu-
                                                                                   nity that you currently do not?
                                                                                     That last question is important because, even though we
  service      of “dialoging” with someone?), but beyond that, it means the        may perceive the inherent value in our services, the commu-
               organization claiming to be a “community partner” needs the         nity may not when they’re asked to increase their contri-
  wants to     community’s support in order to better fulfill its mission as        butions to us. Don’t expect to get something for nothing.
               much as the community needs the mission to be fulfilled. A           You need to offer the community something in return for
  partner      bus company “partners with its community” to provide mass           their increased support. A good example of this is touting
  with the     transportation service, but needs the community to help by          the vast increase in saves for cardiac arrest patients with
               allowing them to run their routes, standing in designated           bystander CPR. Sure, your community members probably
community,     spots for pick-up and delivery, and paying the fares. A police      know that, but you’re their local provider. You need to show
how would      department provides law enforcement and crime deterrence,           them the real benefits of learning CPR and pro
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