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Research Articles

Vol. 27 No. 4

Community Partner Perceptions in a Health Care Shortage Area

  • Christiane R. Herber-Valdez
  • Valerie Osland Paton
  • Oliana Alikaj-Fierro
  • Julie A. Blow
  • Sarah M. Schiffecker
November 19, 2021


This study illuminates community partner perspectives regarding their relationship with a public academic health center (AHC) in a health care shortage area (HCSA). Community-based and statewide leadership invested deeply in the AHC’s programs and initiatives to prepare health care providers for practice in the region, to decrease the provider shortage and improve local health care outcomes. The mixed-methods study sought to identify current community engagement partnerships and examine relationships from the perspective of community partners. Phase 1 of the study utilized an adaptation of the Outreach and Engagement Measurement Instrument (OEMI) as a survey to gather data from employees at the institution. Phase 2 of the study gathered data from the community partners through communities of interest focus groups. Data was analyzed using the Kellogg Commission’s seven-part test of engagement. Findings from the survey identified community partner perspectives that informed AHC and partner collaborations during a period of multiple crises.