In 2015, the Colorado Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Advisory Board Company teamed up to launch The BUILD Health Challenge® These key partners noted that too often, solutions to community health issues happen in a silo, and in order to achieve true change, we must move away from narrowly focused interventions. The BUILD Health Challenge®: (BUILD: BOLD. UPSTREAM. INTEGRATED. LOCAL. DATA-DRIVEN) seeks to contribute to the creation of a new norm in the U.S., one that puts multi-sector, community-driven partnerships at the center of health in order to reduce health disparities caused by system-based or social inequity.In an effort to drive sustainable improvements in community health, BUILD awardees are actively tackling upstream factors of health—often referred to as the social determinants of health. These include influences as diverse as early childhood development, economic opportunity,regulation and policy, the built environment, transportation and infrastructure,educational attainment, public safety, and housing.
Now it it’s third iteration, the BUILD Health Challenge 3.0 includes 18 communities across the US seeking to make meaningful change. In addition to funding, the selected communities gain access to a comprehensive package of technical assistance and support services, peer network, and national exposure to further their implementation efforts. By forging this complex partnership, these partner organizations and funders hope to inspire similar teamwork between organizations at a community level, adding to the research and knowledge base for community health and discovering new best practices for the field. For a complete list of funders and communities participating in this effort, visit buildhealthchallenge.org.
“LiveWell Greenville saw partnering with the BUILD as the perfect way to begin addressing a health disparity in Greenville County: Hispanic youth, particularly males, were experiencing overweight and obesity, at higher rates than even our peer communities across the state and Southeast Region,” said Sally Wills, executive director of LiveWell Greenville. As a result, LiveWell Greenville gathered key partners that have a stake in further exploring this health concern: Bon Secours St. Francis, Furman University’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, Hispanic Alliance, PASOs, Prisma Health, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, and Unity Health on Main. This partnership has grown to also include Clemson University and the University of SC Medical School in Greenville. Together, these partners are approaching this issue with a lot of curiosity and no pre-formed solutions. The goal of the project is to work hand-in-hand with community members to explore what may be causing our youth, particularly Hispanic males, to experience obesity at higher rates and to collaborate to create solutions.
The primary health aim of Build Trust, Build Health is to reduce disparities of obesity in the White Horse Road Corridor (WHRC) Hispanic youth, mitigating future disparities in chronic disease. To achieve this, we will build a trusting and inclusive community where WHRC residents not only have equitable access to health and health-promoting resources such as healthy eating and active living, but are comfortable in utilizing them. We will achieve this through a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach that will engage leaders and community members in each stage of the process, from study design to dissemination, as we work to increase understanding of the underlying causes of youth obesity and potential solutions for this community. Each of the partners on this initiative brings a strength to the collaborative that would not otherwise be possible.
Since applying BUILD 3.0, the core team completed recruitment of two additional research partners to aid in the CBPR process:
- Shaniece Criss, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, Furman University
- Arelis Moore de Peralta, Assistant Professor of Community Health, Department of Languages, Clemson University
Leading this initiative is Vanessa Rodriguez, a joint employee with the Hispanic Alliance and LiveWell Greenville. In addition to coordinating the efforts of Build Trust, Build Health and its partners, Vanessa is charged with developing meaningful relationships that will help us discover how we can work together to address this critical health disparity. Over the next few months, Vanessa and the Build Trust, Build Health team will be coordinating focus groups and interviews with key community members.