Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Dr. Yvette Conyers


This hermeneutic phenomenology study explores the experiences of community-based organization (CBO) leaders in the Rochester, New York, Finger Lakes region, who have collaborated to address health disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the existence of health disparities. Collaboration challenges like fragmentation and misaligned objectives persist. Understanding the facilitators and barriers of collaborative efforts is essential for informed strategies and policies to tackle health disparities effectively. The study consisted of leaders from CBOs, coalitions, and community groups who each had more than three years of experience in a collaboration to address health disparities. Eleven community leaders from diverse professional backgrounds participated. Open-ended interviews were conducted to elicit suitable responses for hermeneutic phenomenological analysis. Thematic analysis was employed, and the theoretical framework guiding this study was Collective Impact (CI). The study uncovered five key findings. Firstly, participants favored collective advocacy over individual strategies. Secondly, while not experts in the Collective Impact Framework, they showed expertise crucial for its success. Thirdly, community leaders noted challenges in collaboration. Fourthly, community leaders highlighted attributes for successful collaboration. Lastly, exposure to health disparities increased commitment to advocacy efforts. Community leaders are crucial in health collaboration and tackling health disparities. Despite challenges, unwavering commitment to enhancing healthcare in our communities is essential. This research advocates cultivating inclusive, equitable, resilient healthcare collaborations, empowering community leaders, and fostering effective teamwork to drive sustainable change.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 29, 2025

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