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networks (3)

When Anica Miller-Rushing took over as coordinator of the Down East Research and Education Network (DEREN) nearly three years ago, the partnership was still in the early stages of carving out its role in Downeast, Maine. Today, as Miller-Rushing is preparing to leave her position to begin a PhD program at the University of Maine, she reflects on how the network has evolved over time and come into its own.
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Everyone knows that good coordination is key to collaboration, but I always get itchy when coalitions, networks, alliances, or partnerships go the nonprofit 501(c)3 route to structure the coordination functions.

Yes, I get all of the advantages and pressures, but too often, I have seen how the collaborative juice gets sucked out of the atmosphere when it is contained in a nonprofit organization.  

Sometimes these organizations can look and act like a network, but their care and…

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