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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Perspectives October 2012: A Successful Collaborative

Sheree Vodicka, AHA Director

I’ve had many reasons lately to ponder the question “what makes a collaborative such as AHA a success?”

As you may be aware, AHA is undergoing strategic planning with an eye on identifying some measurable goals and objectives. What this will do is empower us to say “yes” to those activities that will move us closer to reaching our mission, and give us permission to say “no” to things that do not.

I am hopeful that it will also strengthen us as a collaborative.

We sent a survey to roughly 100 of our partners last month, to identify where our strengths and weaknesses are as a team. Many thanks to the 41 that took the time to respond.

Overall, the results show that most partners feel pretty good about where we are going and our effectiveness as a team.
The top benefits reported of being part of the AHA collaborative are 1) development of valuable relationships, 2) learning useful knowledge about services, programs or people in the community, and best of all, 3) an ability to have a greater impact than you could on your own.

This is the definition of “partnership synergy,” according to the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health, and it’s a beautiful thing when it works.

The majority of you (87.5%) said that the benefits of being involved with AHA exceed or greatly exceed any drawbacks, with the largest drawback being that participation does draw your time and resources away from other priorities or obligations (34.4%).

Most of what we heard was good, and we do have room for improvement. Some partners feel that being included in decision making could improve. More than 60% said that you were extremely or very comfortable with the way decisions are made. Another 30% are somewhat comfortable. And more than half (51.6%) said they feel they have been left out of the decision making process some, most, or all the time.

If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable or feel left out, let us hear from you. So often in the interest of being nice or avoiding conflict, which is also uncomfortable, we choose the path of least resistance and say nothing.  I invite our partners to speak out. I’d like to believe that we can build a trusting and open environment where we all feel comfortable expressing our views. We will all be better for it.

You can view the survey AHA 2012 Partner Survey–Summary Report here. Please take a few minutes to review it.

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