EIIC: Emergency Medical Services for Children | Innovation and Improvement Center

Coalition Building

A coalition is an alliance of diverse groups joined together for the purpose of affecting a specific change or achieving a goal that they would be otherwise unable to realize as independent individuals or separate entities. Within the EMSC community, a coalition is a network of support that may extend beyond an EMSC Advisory Board or Committee to encompass both formal and informal relationships of engagement and collaboration. For EMSC projects, coalitions can serve as the baseline foundation for improved pediatric emergency medical services, regardless of individual project aims.

EMSC leaders can achieve substantial and enduring collaborative results by committing to coalition building and appropriately engaging a sufficient number of key stakeholders. The ultimate outcome of coalition development is improved health care for children, ensuring that coalition constituents receive the highest possible dividends on their collective investment in EMSC.

Healthcare Provider Resources

Administration for Children and Families

Capacity Building Toolkits for Faith-Based and Community Organizations The Administration for Children and Families has created a variety of toolkits to help increase capacity building of individuals, families and communities. The Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together toolkit provides guidance on key components for effective partnerships, the barriers to successful partnerships, and approaches for forming, managing, and ending partnerships. (2010). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coalition-Building Primer This document consists of basic information on the definition, capabilities, functioning, membership, structure, and leadership of coalitions. (Accessed October 2011).


Tools & Resources CoalitionsWork is a consulting group dedicated to helping organizations develop coalition skills building and change strategies. They offer several tools and resources on their website that pertain to coalition start up, planning, building, assessment and evaluation, and sustainability. (Accessed August 2013).

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Community Traffic Safety Resource Center  includes the Community How To Guide On…COALITION BUILDING --  Developed by the National Highway Traffic Administration as a community how to guide on addressing driving safety issues, this guide contains general concepts of coalition development, information on involving youth in coalitions, and a list of additional coalition building references and resources. (Accessed October 2017).

Ohio State University Extension Online Fact Sheets

Building Coalitions Fact Sheet This fact sheet contains links to a wide variety of resources for coalition development. Featured content addresses: facilitator roles and responsibilities, coalition functioning and communications, resources for fundraising and grant-writing, evaluation strategies, needs assessment, and community mobilization, among other topics. (Accessed May 2015)

Prevention Institute

Collaboration Multiplier This interactive media tool helps guide an organization to a better understanding of which partners it needs to recruit and how to engage them. The guide also helps organizations that already work together to identify activities to achieve a common goal, to identify missing sectors that can contribute to a solution, and to leverage expertise and resources. (July 2011).

Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas

Coalition Building I: Starting a Coalition Listed under Part B, Chapter 5, Section 5 in the Table of Contents on the main Community Tool Box site, this guide provides resources and information on the “who, what, when, where, and why” principles of coalition building. Available resources include: step-by-step guidelines, examples, checklists of points to review, and training materials. (Accessed October 2011).

Example Practices

EMSC PIER: Improving Interfacility Transfer in the Pacific Rim

The PIER Region comprises EMSC program managers and partners from the islands of American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Collectively, the PIER Region, alongside a multidisciplinary group of healthcare providers and federal and state officials are working together to address the multiplex of issues affecting interfacility/inter-island transfer of patients needing specialty resources.

The group is currently working on a white paper to improve the transfer of pediatric patients in need of specialized medical treatment from the territories to specialty medical centers in Hawaii and the continental United States. Since these islands are geographically isolated from one another, as well as from the Continental U.S., medical resources on these islands are often limited. The critically ill and injured or those requiring specialty care often need to be transferred to access needed services. This is especially true for critically ill and injured children and thus serves as a major challenge impacting positive patient health outcomes of all Pacific Island residents.

Florida EMSC: Advisory Committee

Florida’s EMSC project has a long history of support from a wide range of individuals and groups. Over the years, the project has benefited from its collaborative efforts with other state agencies and organizations, including the Florida College of Emergency Physicians, Children’s Medical Services, the Florida Pediatric Society, the Florida Hospital Association, the Florida Committee on Trauma, and many more. These partners committed themselves to making Florida a model EMSC state.

To meet that end, the Florida EMSC project and its greater coalition recognized the importance of establishing EMSC permanently in Florida. In working to achieve an “institutionalized” EMSC program within the state, the coalition also met the EMSC National Performance Measure requiring establishment of an EMSC Advisory Committee within the state/territory.

Through the efforts of the coalition, Florida now has a legislatively-mandated EMSC Advisory Committee and in-kind support from the Bureau of EMS by way of a permanent EMSC coordinator, a program specialist, and other administrative personnel, as well as the secondary benefits of greater integration within the EMS system through changes in committee structure, reporting procedures, and improved communication. In addition, the coalition is working to address a second EMSC National Performance Measure that requires the adoption of requirements by the state/territory for pediatric emergency education for the recertification of paramedics. The group is making progress toward this goal through collaboration with the EMS Advisory Council’s Education and Legislative Committees to draft language that would require a minimum of two pediatric continuing education hours for recertification.

Illinois EMSC: Facility Recognition

In 1995, the Illinois EMSC project convened its first task force to consider development of a facility recognition program. Broad-based support for the program came initially from the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians, the Illinois Council of Emergency Nurses Association, the Illinois Hospital Association, and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, among other organizations.

Representation from these organizations has been and remains today an integral part of the process, as the facility recognition program was created with input from a diverse EMSC work group with the overall goal “to decrease childhood morbidity and mortality by ensuring the availability of appropriately trained personnel, along with appropriate emergency department resources and capabilities in order to effectively manage the critically ill and injured child.”

In 1998, the Illinois EMSC Facility Recognition Program was piloted and a year later statewide implementation began. The Illinois’ facility recognition program addresses EMSC Performance Measures #74 and #75 the percent of hospitals recognized through a statewide, territorial, or regional standardized system that are able to stabilize and/or manage pediatric medical and trauma emergencies. By garnering widespread “buy-in” for the program early on, this EMSC project was able to develop and implement its program while remaining optimistic that it would be well received by those upon whom it had the most immediate impact. This collaborative approach proved essential to ensuring successful implementation of the program.

Pennsylvania EMSC: Pediatric Regionalized Care Initiative In Pennsylvania

Most pediatric specialists and subspecialists practice at the children’s hospitals in either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, which are located on opposite ends of the state. This has the potential to leave many of the state’s children, particularly those living far from either city, without access to the care they need in an emergency. Therefore, through an innovative collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Public Welfare, the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine is developing and implementing a regionalized system of pediatric emergency care in rural western Pennsylvania through the use of telemedicine. The project, funded through an EMSC State Partnership Regionalization of Care (SPROC) grant, will build off existing collaborations between rural community health providers and a major academic referral center, leading to both improved emergency care access in the region and knowledge on how to improve pediatric emergency care nationwide.

Wisconsin EMSC: Pediatric Equipment for Ambulances

The Wisconsin EMSC has collaborated successfully with its state chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), the world’s oldest and largest volunteer organization for women to focus on EMSC Performance Measure #73 which addresses the percent of patient care units in the state/territory that have essential pediatric equipment and supplies as outlined in national guidelines.

It was in 2002 the Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club (OJWC), a local chapter of the national GFWC, and the Wisconsin EMSC Advisory Board identified a gap in pediatric EMS care. Noting a lack of pediatric equipment on ambulances in certain areas of Wisconsin, the two groups created a strategic partnership to fund and place pediatric “Jump Kit” bags — specialized kits that put critical pediatric emergency supplies in one place to help EMS respond to pediatric calls with organized, easily accessible, and properly-sized equipment — on every ambulance in Waukesha County, WI. Today, jump kit bags are now carried on 285 of Wisconsin’s 446 EMS departments (64%). More than $287,000 in donations have also been made to date. The Wisconsin EMSC program has also provide Jump Kit bags for each of the five Wisconsin Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units and one for the Wisconsin Disaster Medical Response Team (DMRT). The UP-WI Kiwanis Clubs pledged its support to the Pediatric Jump Kit for Ambulances Special Project in 2007 and most recently Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wrote a letter of support for this project.

In Fall of 2011, the EMSC National Resource Center (NRC) and GFWC developed a national strategic partnership to encourage and market the Wisconsin model to other states and territories in an effort to produce similar outcomes. The EMSC NRC encourages Family Advisory Network members to work with their EMSC program mangers to develop the partnerships within their state. This collaborative effort can assist EMSC programs throughout the nation to acquire missing pediatric equipment for their local EMS agencies.

Family And Caregiver Resources

Family Voices

Growing Your Capacity to Engage Diverse Communities The purpose of this booklet is to provide information about working with community liaisons and cultural brokers towards family and community engagement. This booklet provides knowledge and experiences from family leaders around the country who have shared what they have learned in their efforts to serve the full range of families of children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. (2009).

Sierra Health Foundation

Engaging Youth in Community Change: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Sierra Health Foundation’s REACH Youth Program This evaluation report documents the work of seven grantees who build local youth-adult coalitions. These coalitions provided meaningful engagement and leadership opportunities for youth and helped catalyze community and policy change strategies to enhance the overall level of support and opportunity for youth. (November 2010).

Young People For

Little Black Book: Coalition Building Although this handy guide is designed for student organizers and leaders, there are very basic and direct points on coalition building that can be applied to any audience. The guide provides essential organizing skills, illustrated with real-life stories and case studies. (Accessed October 2011).