The BUILD Health Challenge
The BUILD Health Challenge’s mission is to contribute to the development 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 systemic or social inequity. The BUILD Health Challenge is looking to support innovative collaboratives that include a community-based organization, hospital or health system, and public health department working together in dynamic ways to address upstream challenges and drive sustainable improvements in community health. Inclusion of additional cross-sector partners such as health plans, businesses, foundations, and others that are aligned with the proposed efforts are encouraged. Organizations jointly applying for the BUILD Health Challenge award should have a strong track record of working together; have developed their joint priorities and implementation plans with strong levels of community engagement and leadership; and be primed to advance equitable systems-level changes in their community.
The BUILD Health Challenge is grounded in the following principles and rooted in health equity:
- Bold: Aspire toward a fundamental shift beyond short-term programmatic work to longer-term influences over policy, regulation, and systems-level change
- Upstream: Focus on the social, environmental, and economic factors that have the greatest influence on the health of your community and produce more equitable outcomes, rather than on access or care delivery
- Integrated: Align the practices and perspectives of communities, health systems, and public health under a shared vision, establishing new roles while continuing to draw upon the strengths and diversity of each partner
- Local: Engage neighborhood residents and community leaders as key voices and thought leaders throughout all stages of planning and implementation, with a particular focus on populations most affected by health disparities and inequities
- Data driven: Use data from both clinical and community sources as a tool to: disaggregate data to identify inequities and understand areas of highest need, measure meaningful change, facilitate transparency among stakeholders, and generate actionable insights
The BUILD Health Challenge emphasizes a prevention approach to addressing social, physical, economic, or educational drivers of poor health outcomes at the population level. Key activities should include, but are not limited to:
- Advancing systems level change, including policy solutions that will create more fair and just opportunities for health (e.g., changes in local laws, regulations, or organizational policies; shifts in funding, reimbursements, or resources)
- Collaborating strategically across organizations and sectors to enhance practices and ways of working
- Expanding the range of committed partners to bring complementary sets of expertise, resources, and capacities to the table
- Developing robust data-sharing and evaluation processes to inform intervention strategies, strengthen partnerships, improve the initiative, and measure impact
- Engaging and empowering community members to inform strategy and guide activities.
Amount: A total of 17 awards of up to $250,000 each will be awarded over a two-and-a-half year period. Note that only 5 of the 17 awards will be to cities of 150,000 residents or more in any U.S. state; other awards are designated to specific states (New Mexico is not included as one of these states).
Eligibility: The following criteria must be met:
- The lead applicant must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization.
- Assembly of a partnership including (at minimum) a hospital or health system, a local health department, and a nonprofit community organization or coalition of organizations.
- The participating hospital(s) or health system(s) must demonstrate a 1:1 match of up to $250,000, met through direct cash support or a combination of cash and in-kind support.
- Focus activity must be within a defined zip code(s), census tract(s), or neighborhood(s) experiencing significant health disparities within a city of 150,000 residents or more.
- Program addresses an upstream challenge where efforts can drive sustainable improvements in community health.
- Be willing to participate in learning/evaluation activities and convenings, openly sharing challenges, results, and outcomes. This is a critical element of the award and requires a time commitment of three to five hours per month on average from awardees throughout the award cycle.
Note: Applicants and their organizations need not be working specifically on health care or traditionally-defined health issues. Outside sectors (e.g., community development, housing, food, transportation, etc.) are encouraged to apply.
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