Interorganizational network findings from a nationwide cardiovascular disease prevention initiative.
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OBJECTIVES: To use network analysis in order to evaluate the effectiveness of interorganizational networks in implementing policy, systems, and environmental interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention throughout the United States. METHODS: Evaluators conducted an interorganizational network (ION) survey to examine information sharing and joint planning within organizational relationships in 15 community-based cardiovascular disease prevention partnership networks. Density and betweenness centrality scores at the node- and network-level were calculated for each partnership network using UCINET network analysis software. Common data patterns were then extracted using a multiple case study format. RESULTS: Network density scores ranged from 0.50 to 1.00 (M=0.84, SD=0.14) for information sharing and 0.43-1.00 (M=0.77, SD=0.15) for joint planning. Centralization indices ranged from 0.00 to 0.11 (M=0.04, SD=0.03), and 0.00-0.17 (M=0.06, SD=0.05), respectively. Overall, 73.33 % of communities were successful in meeting their partnership goals. CONCLUSIONS: When planning and implementing interorganizational networks, high betweenness centrality and more hierarchically structured networks were identified as the most salient partnership characteristics to programmatic success. The network findings were triangulated with previously published qualitative data to provide context. These findings provide valuable insight on how national networks can be designed and leveraged to implement systematic community health projects.