Community partnering for behavioral health equity: Public agency and community leaders' views of its promise and challenge Article

Bromley, E, Figueroa, C, Castillo, EG et al. (2018). Community partnering for behavioral health equity: Public agency and community leaders' views of its promise and challenge . ETHNICITY & DISEASE, 28 397-406. 10.18865/ed.28.S2.397

cited authors

  • Bromley, E; Figueroa, C; Castillo, EG; Kadkhoda, F; Chung, B; Miranda, J; Menon, K; Whittington, Y; Jones, F; Wells, KB; Kataoka, SH



  • Objective: To understand potential for multi-sector partnerships among community-based organizations and publicly funded health systems to implement health improvement strategies that advance health equity. Setting: In 2014, the Los Angeles County (LAC) Board of Supervisors approved the Health Neighborhood Initiative (HNI) that aims to: 1) improve coordination of health services for behavioral health clients across safety-net providers within neighborhoods; and 2) address social determinants of health through community-driven, public agency sponsored partnerships with community-based organizations. Design: Key stakeholder interviewing during HNI planning and early implementation to elicit perceptions of multi-sector partnerships and innovations required for partnerships to achieve system transformation and health equity. Participants: Twenty-five semi-structured interviews with 49 leaders from LAC health systems, community-based organizations; and payers. Main Outcomes Means: Grounded thematic analysis of interview data. Results: Leaders perceived partnerships within and beyond health systems as transformative in their potential to: improve access, value, and efficiency; align priorities of safety-net systems and communities; and harness the power of communities to impact health. Leaders identified trust as critical to success in partnerships but named lack of time for relationship-building, limitations in service capacity, and questions about sustainability as barriers to trust-building. Leaders described the need for procedural innovations within health systems that would support equitable partnerships including innovations that would increase transparency and normalize information exchange, share agenda-setting and decision-making power with partners, and institutionalize partnering through training and accountability. Conclusions: Leaders described improving procedural justice in public agencies' relationships with communities as key to effective partnering for health equity.

publication date

  • September 1, 2018

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 397

end page

  • 406


  • 28