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Community engagement is best described across continuums, from neighborhood groups to system level topics. Public health nurses, in collaboration with other public health professionals are uniquely qualified to participate on local partnerships and networks to engage and empower communities.


 In the first edition of Principles, the authors developed a working definition of community engagement that captures its key features:

…the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the wellbeing of those people. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioral changes that will improve the health of the community and its members. It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices (CDC, 1997, p. 9).



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