A case study of library/community agency coordination and health information partnering practices: The Teen CARE Network
Mary M. Howrey, Northern Illinois University, United States
Doctor of Education, Northern Illinois University . Awarded
This dissertation is a case study of a library/community agency partnership formed to improve access to health information for teens and parents in the greater Aurora, Illinois, area. Funded by the Illinois State Library and Provena Mercy Center Hospital, the Teen CARE Network (TCN) partnership employed action research methods and a variety of data-gathering tools to explain why the partnership expanded from 15 members to 40 members over the 18-month project. The dissertation presents an assessment of the outcomes, impact, and effectiveness of the library/community agency partnership in the voices of the project director and the partner agency representatives.
A needs analysis of Aurora teen youth risk behaviors, using a modified Youth Risk Behavior Survey, was conducted in May–June 1998. The needs analysis identified and confirmed the importance of school and community safety in the problem setting and direction setting phases of the action research project. The youth needs analysis also confirmed that Aurora teens did not actively seek out health information on their own or troubleshoot personal health concerns based on the body of consumer health literature.
Focus groups of youth services professionals and a workshop on violence prevention in June 1998 supported the direction setting and implementation phases of the project. Results of the case study show that the TCN's website usage expanded over time, but participation in community health education programs was lower than expected. Development of a “learning organization,” professional networking, marketing, and media relations were key factors in the expansion of the partnership.
Themes that arose from analysis of the partnering behavior surveys, exit interviews, and secondary data sources (such as the grant proposals, grant reports, and program evaluation comments) include these critical dimensions of the Teen CARE Network partnership experience: the partner commitment, the perceived mutual benefits of the partnership, the coordinating structures established to monitor improvements, project outcomes (a website at http://www.aurora.il.us/teencare, website use, other products, and services of the Internet TCN website developed), perceived partnership barriers or obstacles, the future vision for the partnership, overall perceived effectiveness and partnership impact, and structures for sustaining the partnership.
Howrey, M.M. A case study of library/community agency coordination and health information partnering practices: The Teen CARE Network. Doctor of Education thesis, Northern Illinois University.
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