The Partnership Model

Working with Individuals, Families, and Communities toward a New Vision of Health

Authors


Address correspondence to Reni Courtney, R.N., CFNP, Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing, P.O. Box 19407, Arlington. TX 76019.

Abstract

Abstract Increasingly, health professionals must learn to work in new partnership relationships with clients and community to promote health effectively. A partnership requires a transformation of the professional role from chief actor to partner, and the client role from passive recipient to partner. A partnership approach has particular merit in a reformed health care system that increasingly emphasizes active involvement and self-care actions of individuals and families to maintain health and prevent disease. A partnership approach is also important to professionals working with underserved, vulnerable, and/or minority populations. For too long professionals and policymakers have relegated these groups to passive roles in health decision making and action. This article will provide a description of the partnership process as it has been developed and implemented by nurse practitioners in an urban Hispanic community with emphasis on a community partnership. A partnership model is described and compared to the more traditional professional model. A definition and essential criteria for partnership are presented. Finally, a specific example of how the partnership process was implemented at the community level is discussed.

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