A conceptual model for establishing collaborative partnerships between universities and Native American communities
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

A conceptual model for establishing collaborative partnerships between universities and Native American communities

Teresa Brockie Assistant professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Community Public Health, Baltimore MD
Kristen Azar Investigator, Sutter Health Research Enterprise, Palo Alto, CA
Gwenyth Wallen Chief, Nursing Research and Translational Science, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda MD
Megan O’Hanlon Solis Nurse case manager, Whitman-Walker Health, Washington DC
Kathleen Adams Public health nursing manager, Fort Belknap Public Health Nursing, Harlem MT
Joan Kub Adjunct professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA

Background Collaborative partnerships are increasingly recognised as valuable and essential tools for improving community health.

Aim To present the process used to establish a collaboration between a university and a community, including a description of the conceptual model that provided guidance for one such project.

Discussion While numerous studies explore the potential benefits of such efforts, few have addressed how to initiate partnerships. The initiation phase and formative work required are arguably the most crucial step, as they become the foundation on which all future efforts are built and through which sustainability is achieved.

Conclusion These formative steps are essential when working with Native American communities, which experience severe health disparities, but for which limited initiatives are available for community health interventions.

Implications for practice The approach used in this project can guide the establishment of a university-community collaboration, from initiation to evaluation.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1613

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Brockie T, Azar K, Wallen G et al (2019) A conceptual model for establishing collaborative partnerships between universities and Native American communities. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1613


The authors would like to thank the entire Fort Belknap community, including the tribal council, tribal health department, public health nursing department and community members, for their interest and support in establishing a collaborative partnership with their community. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Institutes of Health, the Public Health Service, or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Published online: 07 March 2019

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