Section Objectives
   Users will be able to:

  • Identify key characteristics of ideal system partners
  • Describe how to locate system partners
  • Describe how to research potential partners and to assess their collaboration potential




What are the key characteristics of ideal system partners

Examples of potential system partners



Programs will be easier to sustain if you embed them in existing delivery systems. See the following sections for characteristics of ideal system partners and a list of examples. The rest of this chapter provides tips on how to find such organizations in your area and how to assess their collaboration potential.


What are the key characteristics of ideal system partners?


Essential Defining Characteristics


The ideal potential system partner:


    • Sees adoption of the Arthritis Foundation (AF) evidence-based programs as serving its organization’s mission
    • Serves and/or has constituents that are likely to include large numbers of people with arthritis
    • Provides multiple program delivery points
    • Possesses ability to commit adequate organizational support, including financial and human resources to sustain program delivery over time


    Other Important Characteristics of Ideal Partners


    • Willingness to:

      • achieve shared vision and joint goals and objectives
      • share resources and expertise

    • Support from their organizational leadership
    • Interest in and capacity to:

      • market the programs and recruit program leaders, instructors and/or class participants
      • collect and report program reach and other requested data
      • provide personnel to assist in program delivery and training efforts
      • function as a viable team member in a partnership

    • History of working successfully with state health departments, voluntary health and other organizations that address arthritis or other chronic diseases
    • Credibility in the community
    • No conflicts of interest


    • Aging networks (e.g., state/ area agencies on aging, senior housing agencies, networks of congregate dining sites);
    • Educational agencies (e.g., area health education centers, university extension services, community college continuing education services, etc);
    • Businesses with multiple work sites 
    • State parks and recreation departments
    • Health care systems and provider networks (e.g. hospital and rehabilitation center systems, primary care associations, Federally Funded Health Center networks, community health center networks, state visiting nurses associations, rural health agencies);
    • Health care payers (e.g., managed care organizations, employer–sponsored health plans);
    • Health club systems and fitness professional organizations (e.g., regional and large metropolitan YMCAs and YWCAs, other fitness and wellness center networks)
    • Organizations representing ethnic, cultural or other underserved or priority populations (e.g., State Black Nurses Association, Hispanic Health agencies, rural agencies);
    • Faith-based/ religious organizations (e.g., statewide councils of churches, synagogues, mosques, parish nurses);
    • State agencies with grassroots delivery units  (e.g. women's, retired adults or senior groups)





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