Community health improvement processes that yield community health assessments (CHAs) and community health improvement plans (CHIPs) provide data and a process to determine key community priorities and take action and are ideally collaborative endeavors. Nationally, increased focus on CHAs and CHIPs highlights the role that Academic Health Departments or other local health department (LHD)-academic linkages can play in completing CHAs and CHIPs. Drawn from the experiences of 5 LHD-academic partnerships that participated in a national demonstration and a detailed account of the experience of one, this article presents how such linkages can support CHA and CHIP work, ways to anticipate and overcome challenges, and the tangible benefits that may be realized for both the LHD and the academic partner. Community health improvement processes are ripe opportunities for LHD-academic linkages and can be fruitful and mutually beneficial partnerships to be used in completing CHAs and CHIPs to measurably improve the public's health. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.