8 Steps to Building and Sustaining Effective Coalitions

Course Description:

Have you ever tried to convince your health director, mayor, school board, minister, or business owner to support your community coalition? It’s not always easy, especially if he or she is not convinced that working in partnership is the best approach. This presentation will help you define coalitions, learn when and how to use them, and provide eight steps for building effective coalitions that promote health, a healthy environment, and prevent disease. By focusing on these steps, your coalition will be poised to reach its goals and sustain itself for the long haul.

Note: This course was originally delivered as a satellite broadcast.

Target Audience

Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students

Learning Objectives

  • Describe three characteristics of effective coalitions
  • Recount three successes and three barriers to coalition effectiveness and their resolutions
  • Identify eight essential steps for building and sustaining effective coalitions
  • Learn valuable lessons from actual community coalitions
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 2.00 hour(s) of credit for completing 8 Steps to Building and Sustaining Effective Coalitions
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Frances Dunn Butterfoss

Frances Dunn Butterfoss, PhD, MSEd

Coalitions Work
Eastern Virginia Medical School
and Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia

Frances Dunn Butterfoss, PhD, is a health educator who brings over 20 years of experience in community collaboration. She is founder and President of Coalitions Work, a group that consults with practitioners on how to develop, sustain and evaluate coalitions for health promotion and disease prevention.  She holds professorships at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and teaches in their MPH program.  She is the founding director of the Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH) and Project Immunize Virginia (PIV). Dr. Butterfoss has received research support from many federal and foundation grants and published widely in professional journals and textbooks. Her book, Coalitions and Partnerships in Community Health, is a best seller for academics and practitioners alike. Fran has served as Deputy Editor of Health Promotion Practice and President of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). Her awards include SOPHE’s Health Education Mentor (2002), EVMS’ Woman in Medicine & Science Professional Achievement (2004), YWCA of South Hampton Roads’ Woman of Distinction (2006) and Norman B. Arnold Alumni Award (2006). She completed undergraduate and masters’ degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in health promotion and education from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 2.00 hour(s) of credit for completing 8 Steps to Building and Sustaining Effective Coalitions


Please login or register to take this course.

Required Hardware/software

System Settings 
This course is designed to work most effectively if your computer and internet connection meet certain minimal requirements. This course can be accessed using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with High Sierra1, Mojave, or Catalina. Pop-up blockers should be disabled when viewing the course. Internet Explorer 11 (for Windows 10), or the current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari (for Windows 10 and or Mac) is required. Many of our courses require Java and JavaScript enabled. 

Links to External Websites   
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)  
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.  

Internet Connection Speed 
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at http://www.speedtest.net/.