Shifting the Opioid Conversation from Stigma to Strengths: Opportunities for Developing Community-Academic Partnerships


  • Robin Austin School of Nursing, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Clarence Jones Hue-MAN Partnership
  • Willie Dominguez Parents in Community Action
  • Diana Hawkins Hawthorne Neighborhood Council
  • Carren Ondara Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • David Haynes Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Karen Monsen School of Nursing, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • Mickey Eder Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities



Community-based participatory research, Opioids, Resilience, Community-academic partnership


Background: Opioid misuse and abuse is a longstanding concern, particularly in underserved communities. Community-level data is needed to understand how to best address the opioid crisis. A strengths-based whole-person approach can offset challenges in working to maximize individual health.

Objectives: Project objectives included acquiring and providing data to the community to engage members in meaningful conversations about opioid misuse and abuse and gather insights to shape a response to the opioid crisis.

Methods: University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty collaborated with community partner Hue-MAN Partnership, to develop and implement a Community Opioid Survey at neighborhood meetings. The MyStrengths+MyHealth assessment was used to identify strengths of community members. Community meetings included introductions by the Hue-MAN Partnership, presentation of the survey data, and facilitated discussion to involve community members in data interpretation and solution development.

Results: Data was collected at 11 community meetings between June 2018 and May 2019. Approximately half of respondents had been affected by opioid misuse or overdose; oxycodone was the most frequent opioid involved; community clinics were the most available resource; and community education was identified as a needed resource to reduce misuse and overdose. Communities perceived and used language differently in talking about opioids.

Conclusion: The community-academic- partnership enabled collection of community-specific data that may have been inaccessible to researchers working alone. Access to community-specific data holds promise for increasing research relevance and for engaging community knowledge and needs.




How to Cite

Austin, R., Jones, C., Dominguez, A., Hawkins, D., Ondara, C., Haynes, D., Monsen, K., & Eder, M. (2022). Shifting the Opioid Conversation from Stigma to Strengths: Opportunities for Developing Community-Academic Partnerships. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 9(1), Article 2.



From the Guest Editor