Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Health Management and Systems Sciences

Degree Program

Public Health Sciences with a specialization in Health Management, PhD

Committee Chair

Taylor, James

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Esterhay, Robert

Committee Member

Roelfs, David

Committee Member

Olsen-Allen, Susan

Author's Keywords

Social determinants of health; Community health; Neighborhood revitalization; Qualitative study; Institutional theory and logics; Health inequality


A qualitative study guided by grounded theory was on a Midwest US city (population > 50,000 people), three of its inner city neighborhoods, and community coalition and partnership efforts in neighborhood revitalizations. A two-phase semi-structured interview methodology assessed interviewees’ experiences in initiatives focused on improving social determinants of health in the neighborhoods. Phase I interviews (n= 11) identified the spectrum of partnerships and initiatives while Phase II interviews (n=28) captured detailed experiences of interviewees. Inter-institutional systems and institutional logics theory were applied in the post-data collection analysis. Interviewees were from public and private sectors including: built environment, economic development, residential/commercial property development, higher education, urban policy, healthcare services, social services, fitness & wellness, financial institutions, and arts & cultural advancement. This study produced evidence of inter-institutional collaboration and community challenges and solutions, policy implications, and multidimensional community health impacts. The importance of trust (personal and institutional), local policymaking, ‘local social bridges’, and the importance of institutional logic elements under the Community and State institutional order in formal and informal networks were key findings in the conclusion. Insights for future research included engaging actors from multi-sectoral partners, recognize importance of “mutual interdependences”, and themes at the intersection of public health and sociology—local bridges, impact of trust and institutional order influence on urban policies.