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PARTNER Tool and PCN App

What is the PARTNER Tool and PCN App?

PARTNER: Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships, and its supporting technical assistance and quality improvement process, is recognized as a beneficial component of understanding and enhancing collaborative efforts. PARTNER was launched as a free social network analysis tool in 2008 with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The tool is now the center of a process of assessment, analysis, coalition enhancement, and relationship strengthening. 

The PARTNER tool is designed for practitioners, although is also used by evaluators and researchers throughout the United States in over 29 countries to evaluate and assess their interorganizational network relationships.  It is the most user-friendly, affordable tool on the market that has the ability to link a network survey to the analysis. This feature makes the PARTNER tool uniquely beneficial to the practice community. Only one other tool exists that links a social network survey to the analysis tool. However, it is offered at a prohibitively high cost and is not as user friendly as PARTNER tool.

PARTNER-Map-example-300x226.pngPARTNER is particularly useful for community-based collaborations. The PARTNER tool has a specific focus on community collaborations (coalitions based within a community made up of interorganizational networks) and a foundational focus on health system and public health issues. It is used by hundreds of community-based collaborations has provided extensive external validity to both the survey and the tool. Users say this tool is the only one that is designed specifically for their needs.

PARTNER employs a multi-pronged Quality Improvement (QI) methodology that uses PARTNER tool as a component to improve collaborations. While collecting network data is useful for many communities, it is not clear how they should translate this into practice. In order to make the PARTNER data more useful for practitioners, the PARTNER team has developed a Quality Improvement methodology that guides users from collecting data through using it to develop a set of action steps for performance improvement.

To learn more about how to use PARTNER:

To find out more about PARTNER:


The Person-Centered Network (PCN App) is a tool for use by a provider to first screen a patient to assess their gaps and strengths in their personal support systems and then, based on the results, link them to available community resources. The basic PCN App allows a user to collect data on a person’s personal network, identifying who they are connected to and how well connected (or not) those network members are to one another. It also assesess the content, strength, and importance of those connections. An additional feature to the App (currently limited to Colorado) is an automated link to available community resources. The App is currently in development and in beta testing, and expected to be launched in Fall 2016.

    • The PCN App was recently chosen as one of six participants in the Community First Foundation’s Innovators Society. The Innovator’s Society The Innovators Society is committed to improving mental wellness by investing in fresh, new ideas to improve awareness, foster well-being and change perceptions of mental illness. The Innovators Society selects four to six Denver-area nonprofit organizations to participate in a year-long program to develop their innovative mental wellness ideas. The program prepares them to compete for grant dollars by pitching their plan to a large audience. Find out more here:
    • See a news feature on Dr. Varda’s participation in the Innovator’s Society here:
    • To find out more about the PCN App, see this one minute video description:
More About the Person-Centered Network App:
The Problem: No one should be struggling alone to navigate the complex and fragmented mental health system. No one should have to overcome stigma and isolation on their own. Patients are lost, their families are lost, and the providers who serve them are lost.
The Solution. To address this gap, we have developed the Person-Centered Network (PCN) App for providers to easily collect patients’ social support network data and link the results of that assessment to available community resources in real-time.  The PCN App is a technology solution for connecting people to resources and to each other, of valuing and mobilizing the strengths in the personal networks that already exist. This program is about understanding what works for individuals and then helping them mobilize their existing supports/resources and fill in the gaps. It’s a strengths-based, individualized approach to thinking about what people need when they are navigating systems.
Based on the PCN App’s questions and assessment, a provider can provide individualized, family-specific referrals for mental health and social support services through existing community resources and services.
To find out more about PCN App:
PCN-flyer.png | Physical Address: 1380 Lawrence St., Ste. 500  Denver, CO  80204 | Mailing Address: University of Colorado Denver, SPA, Campus Box 142, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364 | ph: 303.315.2228 | fax: 303.315.2229 | SPA Website Feedback

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