Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Rachel Hogg-Graham

Committee Member

Dr. John Lyons

Committee Member

Dr. Angela Carman


Cross-sector collaboration is being looked to as best-practice for addressing complex issues. Given that trust is an important aspect of a well-functioning network, partners may have varying perceptions of trust regarding their counterparts. The primary objective is to examine partnerships and trust scores among six Kentucky communities (three urban, three rural) and their efforts to address unmet social needs. The secondary objective is to discuss differences among urban and rural communities regarding local health departments and the role of trust. A social network analysis (SNA) was conducted using the Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships (PARTNER) Tool, which collects granular data on partners and the services being provided, functions, and frequency of collaboration with other organizations. Varying levels of trust scores were found across diverse networks. Local health departments in rural communities had higher trust scores compared to their urban counterparts. The high trust scores indicate the local health departments as trusted partners who are reliable and in support of a network’s missions and can play an important role in positively influencing the health of a community. While the score for the open to discussion dimension was lower, there is room for improvement.

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