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The BUILD Health Challenge

Deadline: February 21, 2017

The BUILD Health Challenge is a national awards program designed to support community collaborations that are working to give everyone a fair chance to be healthy. In the U.S., more than 95 percent of health care spending is attributable to direct medical services; however, medical care accounts for only a fraction of the nation’s health and well-being. A far greater share, as much as 70 percent, can be attributed to the interplay and influence of social, physical, and economic environments. These upstream factors—often referred to as the social determinants of health—include influences as diverse as early childhood development, employment opportunities, food availability, air and water quality, transportation, educational attainment, public safety, housing, and a myriad of others. No one organization in a community can address these alone.

True health transformation requires a broad network of national, state, and local support throughout the country. To that end, the BUILD Health Challenge has partnered with new grantmaking organizations in this effort, lending valuable regional and issue-specific expertise that is allowing this initiative to broaden its reach and impact into new communities nationwide. The Advisory Board includes the de Beaumont Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Those in support for the BUILD Health Challenge are the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, and Telligen Community Initiative.

The BUILD Health Challenge awards are designed to support the advancement of community collaborations that are ready to put their bold, upstream, integrated, local, data-driven plans into action. Organizations jointly applying for a BUILD Health Challenge award should have a strong track record of working together and have developed their joint priorities and implementation plans with strong levels of community engagement and leadership. The BUILD Health Challenge awards are most appropriate for collaborations that have already developed a well-defined action plan with clear roles, strategies, and goals, and where an infusion of philanthropic support could accelerate their work.

Sample activities covered could include, but are not limited to:

  • Advancing local policy solutions that will create better opportunities for health
  • Expanding the range of committed partners to bring complementary sets of expertise, resources, and capacities to the table
  • Supporting staff to manage the initiative, organize the community, and keep all partners on track (sometimes referred to as the “backbone organization” or “quarterback”)
  • Developing robust data-sharing agreements to inform intervention strategies and track results for continuous improvement
  • Engaging community members to inform strategy and guide activities
  • Strategic communications
  • Program evaluation

Amount: A total of 17 awards will be made at $250,000 over a two-year period. Awards will be distributed as follows:

  • Eight awards in cities of 150,000 residents or more
  • Three awards in Colorado
  • Three awards in New Jersey
  • One award in each of the following locations: Iowa, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and North Carolina

Eligibility: The lead applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Assemble a partnership including (at minimum) a hospital or health system, local health department, and nonprofit community organization or coalition of organizations
  • The participating hospital(s) or health system(s) must demonstrate a 1:1 match met through direct cash support or a combination of cash and in-kind support
  • Focus activity within a delineated zip code(s), census tract(s), or neighborhood(s) experiencing significant health disparities within a city of 150,000 residents or more (applicants from Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, areas of central Iowa, and 57 counties in Texas are exempt from this population requirement)
  • Be willing to participate in learning/evaluation activities and convenings, openly sharing challenges, results, and outcomes

Link: http://buildhealthchallenge.org/application/

Note: Informational webinars will be held on December 12 or 15 in 2016, and on January 31 in 2017.

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