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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

19 Communities Embark On Two-Year Endeavor To Transform Health In Their Communities As Part Of The ‘Build Health Challenge’

Unique coalition of 12 funders—in partnership with local hospital partners—to contribute more than $13 million to support innovative community-led health interventions aiming to address the root causes of today’s most pressing health challenges.

Press Release – Bethesda, MD—Funders from across the country have joined together to announce their support of 19 community collaborations over the next two years as part of the BUILD Health Challenge. Funder resources totaling $8 million will support multi-sector local partnerships in each community aimed at addressing a variety of upstream factors such as transportation planning, quality of housing, and workplace tobacco policies to improve community health. In addition, each community selected has identified local hospital partners that will collectively add more than $5 million in both monetary and in-kind support to the project.

Now in its second round, BUILD Health Challenge is one of the nation’s most promising efforts to improve health in low-income neighborhoods. By aligning funding, capacity building, and multi-sector partnerships—between community organizations, hospital systems, and local health departments—participating communities target upstream factors that impact health, increase health equity, and lower health care costs. The BUILD Health Challenge approach is based on the understanding that all in the community have a shared responsibility in achieving health.

The 19 community projects located in 12 states have identified a variety of projects that have the potential to dramatically affect the health and wellness of their communities. The communities selected are:

  • Avondale Children Thrive (Cincinnati, OH) – Children’s health
  • Bridging Health and Safety in Near Northside (Houston, TX) – Safe communities
  • BUILD Health Aurora (Aurora, CO) – Children’s health
  • Building Uplifted Families (Charlotte, NC) – Safe communities
  • Cleveland Healthy Home Data Collaborative (Cleveland, OH) – Healthy housing
  • Collaborative Cottage Grove (Greensboro, NC) – Community revitalization
  • Developing a Community-Driven Health Equity Data System to Enhance Resident Mobility (New Orleans, LA) – Transportation
  • FLOURISH St. Louis: Improving Transportation Access to Help Mothers and Babies Thrive (St. Louis, MO) – Maternal and child health
  • Forward, Franklin (Franklin Borough, NJ) – Safe communities
  • Healthy Homes Des Moines (Des Moines, IA) – Healthy housing
  • Healthy Together Medical-Legal Partnership for Improving Asthma in Southeast DC (Washington, DC) – Medical-legal
  • Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living (Philadelphia, PA) – Healthy housing
  • New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative (New Brunswick, NJ) – Healthy housing
  • One Northside Center for Lifting Up everyBody (Pittsburgh, PA) – Safe communities
  • Project Detour (Colorado Springs, CO) – Addiction
  • Raising of America Partnership Boulder County (Lafayette, CO) – Children’s health
  • Reducing Tobacco Use Through Innovative Data Sharing and Creative Engagement Strategies (Covington and Gallatin Counties, KY) – Tobacco control
  • Transforming Breastfeeding Culture in Mississippi (Jackson, MS) – Maternal and child health
  • Trenton Transformation: A Safe & Healthy Corridor (Trenton, NJ) – Community revitalization

“Everyone in America should have the opportunity to be healthy, and achieving this vision requires moving beyond prescriptions and pills—to upstream social, physical, and economic influences on health,” said Emily Yu, executive director of the BUILD Health Challenge. “It’s exciting to see how organizations, residents, and those outside of traditional health spaces, are embracing a shared sense of responsibility for community health. This shift in thinking and application of bold, localized, and data-driven approaches is transforming the future of health.”

The initial cohort of BUILD Health Challenge projects, launched in 2015, included 18 community partnerships. Already the project has yielded highly promising approaches such as home remodeling to improve indoor air quality and control childhood asthma; leveraging data to better understand patient needs and behaviors beyond the clinical setting to promote healthy lifestyles; reimagining food supply and distribution channels in communities to address food insecurity, and more.

The BUILD Health Challenge is made possible with the support of: The Advisory Board Company, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, The Kresge Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

For more information, visit or follow @BUILD_Health.

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