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BUILD Health Challenge announces 18 inaugural awardees across the U.S.


The BUILD Health Challenge today announced grants to 18 groundbreaking projects across the United States that aim to improve health in low-income communities. The projects were recognized on the strengths of their Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local and Data-Driven approaches to address the social and environmental factors that have the greatest impact on health. 

The BUILD Health Challenge – created in fall 2014 by the Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – encourages partnerships among local nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health systems and health departments. The BUILD Health Challenge plans to identify and disseminate the most promising models of population health improvement to stimulate initiatives in other communities.

The $8.5 million effort includes the grants announced today at a convening in Washington as well as loans to support efforts in the project communities, technical assistance to grantees and other support.

Kresge’s support comes from its Health Program, which seeks to overcome the economic and social inequities that contribute to poor health so that all Americans have the chance to enjoy productive, self-determined lives.

The funding collaborative awarded both implementation and planning grants to support community-driven initiatives addressing a variety of concerns, including obesity, youth violence, food access, affordable housing and preventable hospitalizations.

Seven implementation awardees are receiving $250,000 over two years to strengthen existing partnerships, jump-start more advanced health data and analytics initiatives and expand their impact. The health system partners on each implementation award have also committed a one-to-one match with financial and in-kind support to advance the partnership’s goals.

Eleven planning awardees received $75,000 to kick-start projects addressing specific health challenges with a committed group of community partners.

In addition, the BUILD Health Challenge will provide technical assistance for awardees in policy development, monitoring and evaluation and more from the Practical Playbook, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Prevention Institute.

Implementation grants have been awarded to:

  • New York – Bronx Healthy Buildings Program will improve housing conditions and energy efficiency for low-income residents in five Bronx neighborhoods to address high rates of asthma and preventable hospitalizations. Led by the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Montefiore Medical Center.
  • Cleveland – Engaging the Community in New Approaches to Healthy Housing will remediate substandard housing in the Brooklyn Center neighborhood to curb lead poisoning, asthma and heart disease. Led by Environmental Health Watch, the Cleveland Department of Public Health and the MetroHealth System.
  • Des Moines, Iowa – Healthy Homes East Bank will collaborate to reduce asthma-related hospital visits by improving social and environmental factors in East Bank neighborhoods. Led by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Polk County Health Department, Broadlawns Medical System, Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health-Des Moines.
  • Pasadena, Texas – Improving Health Through a Sustainable Food System will develop a community-supported food system to reduce obesity and improve obesity-related health outcomes. Led by the Houston Food Bank, Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, CHI St. Luke’s Health and the Memorial Hermann Health System.
  • Albuquerque, N.M. – Addressing Healthcare’s Blindside will expand access to healthy food and equip health care providers to refer patients to a service hub to address social and economic needs in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights and South Valley neighborhoods. Led by Adelante Development Center, Bernalillo County Office of Health and Social Services and Presbyterian Healthcare Services.
  • Ontario, Calif. – Healthy Ontario Initiative will improve access to healthy, affordable food and safe places to be active in order to reduce high rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Led by Partners for Better Health, the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health and San Antonio Regional Hospital.
  • San Pablo, Calif. – San Pablo Area Revitalization Collaborative will promote economic development and reduce health disparities in West Oakland. Led by the East Bay Asian Local Development Corp., Alameda County Public Health Department and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Planning grants have been awarded to:  

  • Springfield, Mass. – Healthy Hill Initiative will improve public safety and spur economic development in the Old Hill neighborhood. Led by HAPHousing, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, Baystate Health System and Sisters of Providence Health System.
  • Baltimore – Healing Together: Preventing Youth Violence in Upton/Druid Heights will develop a comprehensive youth violence prevention plan for the Druid Hill and Upton Heights neighborhoods. Led by the Druid Heights Community Development Center, Baltimore City Health Department and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
  • Miami – Building a Healthy and Resilient Liberty City will collaborate to reduce violence and improve assistance to trauma victims in the Liberty City neighborhood. Led by the Florida Institute for Health Innovation, Florida Department of Health-Miami-Dade County and Jackson Health Systems.
  • Detroit – Chandler Park Healthy Neighborhood Strategy will revitalize the blighted neighborhoods surrounding Chandler Park to create job opportunities, improve access to healthy food, strengthen transit infrastructure and reduce crime. Led by the Eastside Community Network, Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion and St. John Providence Health System-Community Health Investment Corp.
  • Chicago – Health Forward/Salud Adelante will integrate legal, medical and public health services to improve the health of the immigrant population in the New City and East Garfield Park neighborhoods. Led by the Legal Assistance Foundation, Chicago Department of Public Health and Cook County Health and Hospital System.
  • Aurora, Colo. – Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Screening and Support will help connect families to a network of clinical and community-based resources to address their needs. Led by Together Colorado, the Tri-County Health Department and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
  • Denver – Northeast Denver Unified will develop solutions to the social, environmental and economic factors that have the greatest impact on child health and wellness. Led by the Civic Canopy, Denver Public Health and Denver Health’s Community Health Services.
  • Colorado Springs – Project ACCESS (Assessment and Community Collaboration to Engage and Strengthen Southeast Colorado Springs) will assess health data and research, engage community members and mobilize the community to improve neighborhood safety and reduce violence. Led by the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, El Paso County Public Health and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.
  • Los Angeles – Youth Driven Healthy South Los Angeles will develop a plan to engage youth leaders to create a community with healthy food and inviting urban spaces while fostering a sustained movement toward health, safety and wellness. Led by the National Health Foundation, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and California Medical Center.
  • Seattle – Chinatown-International District Healthy will develop a plan to improve economic development and housing in the city’s International District. Led by the InterIm Community Development Association, Public Health Seattle and King County and Swedish Medical Center.
  • Portland, Ore. – BUILDing Health and Equity in East Portland will work to reduce health disparities in East Portland by expanding access to affordable housing, green spaces and healthy food. Led by the Oregon Public Health Institute, Multnomah County Health Department, Providence Health and Services, Kaiser Permanente NW, Legacy Health and Adventist Health.