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Vol. 12 No. 3

Lessons Learned from a Decade in a University-Community Partnership: Keys to Successful Engagement and Outreach

  • Alesa Hicks Judd
  • Marsha Howell Adams
July 23, 2010


The University of Alabama and Bibb County community have implemented a community-based partnership for meeting the health-related needs of rural children over the past ten years through the Bibb Child Caring Project (BCCP). Through school-based health fairs the project provides a head-to-toe physical assessment and health screenings. The efforts of the BCCP have made a huge impact on the health status of the children of Bibb County. Many health conditions are discovered that would otherwise go undetected and untreated. Research findings have provided the rationale for the development and implementation of interventions that focus on leading healthier lifestyles and securing health insurance to all rural children in the county. Based on the lived experiences of the partners, the key components of commitment, communication, collaboration, flexibility, trust, and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship have been identified as factors critical to the success of the partnership.