Private-public partnerships are increasingly seen as an important mechanism for improving community health. Despite their popularity, traditional evaluations of these efforts have produced negative or mixed results. This is often attributed to weak interventions or an insufficient period of time to observe an impact. This study examines two additional possibilities—the need for a well-articulated shared vision and the governance and management capabilities of the partnership itself. We conducted a midstream process evaluation of twenty-five community partnerships associated with the Community Care Network (CCN) Demonstration Program. We examined how the roles of a common shared vision, strong governance, and effective management influence a partnership's ability to achieve its objectives. The findings, based on both qualitative and quantitative analyses, underscore the importance of membership organizations' perceived benefits and costs of participation and management capabilities to the partnership's progress toward a vision. Based on the qualitative data, six key governance and management characteristics are identified that separate the top performing partnerships from the lowest performing ones. We explore the implications of this research for future evaluations of public-private community health partnerships.

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