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The Private Partners of Public Health: Public-Private Alliances for Public Good
  • Published Date:
    Mar 16 2009
  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 6(2).
Filetype[PDF-487.38 KB]

  • Pubmed ID:
  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Description:

    We sought to convey lessons learned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) about the value and challenges of private-sector alliances resulting in innovative health promotion strategies. Several PRCs based in a variety of workplace and community settings contributed.


    We conducted interviews with principal investigators, a literature review, and a review of case studies of private-sector alliances in a microbusiness model, a macrobusiness model, and as multiparty partnerships supporting public health research, implementation, and human resource services.


    Private-sector alliances provide many advantages, particularly access to specialized skills generally beyond the expertise of public health entities. These skills include manufacturing, distribution, marketing, business planning, and development. Alliances also allow ready access to employee populations. Public health entities can offer private-sector partners funding opportunities through special grants, data gathering and analysis skills, and enhanced project credibility and trust. Challenges to successful partnerships include time and resource availability and negotiating the cultural divide between public health and the private sector. Critical to success are knowledge of organizational culture, values, mission, currency, and methods of operation; an understanding of and ability to articulate the benefits of the alliance for each partner; and the ability and time to respond to unexpected changes and opportunities.


    Private-public health alliances are challenging, and developing them takes time and resources, but aspects of these alliances can capitalize on partners' strengths, counteract weaknesses, and build collaborations that produce better outcomes than otherwise possible. Private partners may be necessary for program initiation or success. CDC guidelines and support materials may help nurture these alliances.

  • Document Type:
  • Funding:
    U48-DP-00005/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48-DP-000050/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48-DP-000062/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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