The BUILD Health Challenge has announced a second round of implementation and planning grants totaling $8 million to nineteen projects designed to improve health in low-income communities.
Founded in 2015 by the Advisory Board Company and the de Beaumont, Colorado Health, Kresge, and Robert Wood Johnson foundations, the BUILD Health Challenge aims to foster partnerships among local nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments to promote health equity, reduce per capita health spending, shift resources and attention from treating illness to the "upstream" social conditions, create incentives for data-sharing, and promote best practices. Since its creation, BUILD has also received funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, the New Jersey Health Initiatives, the Telligen Community Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The new grants will support multi-sector local partnerships aimed at addressing factors that affect community health indirectly such as transportation planning, quality of housing, and workplace tobacco policies. In addition, each community selected has identified local hospital partners that will collectively add more than $5 million in monetary and in-kind support to the project. The grants recipients and the communities they serve include Avondale Children Thrive in Cincinnati; Bridging Health and Safety in Near Northside in Houston; Collaborative Cottage Grove in Greensboro, North Carolina; the Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living in Philadelphia; and Transforming Breastfeeding Culture in Mississippi in Jackson.
"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 BUILD Health Challenge executive director Emily Yu. "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."