Building community capacity in public health: the role of action-oriented partnerships.

Public health practice increasingly is concerned with the capacity and performance of communities to identify, implement, strengthen, and sustain collective efforts to improve health. The authors developed ways to assist local Turning Point partnerships to improve their community public health system as a secondary outcome of their work on the expressed needs of the community. Using focus groups, meeting minutes, attendance records, and meeting observation, the authors fed information back to the partnerships on systems change. A public health systems improvement plan supportive of local partnerships’ work on specific health issues was funded and the collaborative research agenda was further refined.