Strategic Community Partnerships—An ASPPH Presents Webinar Recap

Shaping the Future of Public Health through Strategic Partnerships Webinar

(Left to right: Tim Leshan, ASPPH; Dr. Emily Spence, HSC; Dr. Linda Alexander, ASPPH; Dr. Carlos Walker, Family Action Center; Dean Shafik Dharamsi, HSC; and Dr. Matt Richardson, Denton County Public Health)

Earlier this week, the public health community gathered virtually and in-person to discuss a vital topic for academic public health: the formation of strategic community partnerships to better prepare students for the world they will face after graduation. An insightful webinar and panel discussion highlighted the urgent call for these collaborations while delivering robust recommendations for fostering impactful partnerships with communities and organizations.

The panel included prominent experts in the field who shed light on the importance of authentic and equitable relationships in public health. Dr. Linda Alexander, Chief Academic Officer, ASPPH, shared pivotal insights from the Framing the Future 2030 (FTF 2030) report, Fostering Community Partnerships for a Healthier World. This document laid the groundwork for the strategies that the panel explored in-depth.

Dr. Emily Spence, Associate Dean for Community Engagement & Health Equity and Associate Professor Department of Population & Community Health, University of North Texas School of Public Health (HSC) and Dean Shafik Dharamsi (HSC), elaborated on their institution’s progress with these strategies through the Community Corps initiative and strategic direction. HSC’s collaboration with local communities has proven instrumental in advancing public health education that aligns with real-world needs.

Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Denton County Public Health, and Dr. Carlos Walker, Director of the Family Action Center at Fort Worth ISD, joined the conversation and provided their perspectives on how communities can be engaged and included more in public health decisions and conversations.

Moderated by Tim Leshan, ASPPH’s Chief External Relations and Advocacy Officer, the discussion also highlighted successful strategies for building trust, promoting public health values, and ensuring conditions that foster healthier living. The insights shared will help guide academic institutions toward enhancing their community engagement, creating meaningful partnerships, and ultimately shaping the future of public health education and practice.

Thank you to all the experts and participants for making this event an engaging and informative platform for positive change in public health. Stay tuned for our upcoming events as we continue to shape the future together and view a recording of the session.