Master's Project Title:

Communities Putting Prevention to Work and the American Heart Association: A Qualitative Study of Relationships and Partnerships

MCH Student:

Sarah Small

Date of Defense:

March 18 , 2013


The main purpose of this project is to investigate qualitatively the relationships  formed between  Communities Putting Prevention to Work ( CPPW )  communities and the  American Heart Association ( AHA )  as well as the relationships leveraged by the AHA in  CPPW communities. The AHA received CPPW grant  funding to provide national  technical assistance to specific communities across the US with obesity prevention  policy, systems and environmental initiatives.

This research investigated relationships formed between CPPW communities and  the AHA, as well as  relationships facilitated by AHA between CPPW communities.  Relationships in the contexts of sustainability, community impact, reciprocity and  capacity building were investigated. Phone interviews were conducted with six  community partners and stakeholders  in CPPW work as identified by AHA staff in key  administrative positions. Each participant was initially emailed a letter from AHA staff  introducing the evaluators and the purpose of the phone interviews. Evaluation staff  followed up via phone to schedule interview times with stakeholders. Each interview  ranged between approximately 15 – 25 minutes, and all interviews were audio recorded  with consent from stakeholders. The audio interviews were transcribed and coded using  qualitative research methods. Themes w ere then identified across interviews for the final  report.

From the analysis four major themes emerged: sustainability, interprofessional,  collaboration and relationship strengthening. These qualitative findings support the  importance of relationships in  building community health and confirm previous research  on the importance of community capacity and relationships to promote health and well-being and advance the health promotion agenda of an organization such as the  American Heart Association.