Action Acceleration Communities

Chicago, Illinois

The Health Forward/Salud Adelante–BUILD Partnership includes public health stakeholders, poverty lawyers and advocates, community organizations, and a groundbreaking Medical Legal Partnership rooted in community engagement. They will focus on two projects to further their goal of identifying systemic issues and action steps to address social determinants of health. A mapping project will improve health outcomes by identifying current sharable safety strategies, iterating new ideas to enhance community safety, and identifying barriers related to safety and violence. Ten mapping workshops will be held in focus neighborhoods, and community leaders will be trained and engaged throughout the process. The second project will build stakeholder capacity around design-thinking approaches. This will enable them to create tools that address Chicago’s housing, zoning, and land-use laws as well as policies that have more impact and are accessible for residents with low literacy and limited English proficiency.

Wabash County, Indiana

The Be Well Wabash County partnership is focusing on strengthening both objective and practice-tested measures of the Be Well Schools healthy school initiative. The initiative includes programs that engage students and parents in fitness activities, policies that incorporate physical activity into the school schedule, and fitness clubs which provide social support for students and teachers. Be Well Wabash has been successfully implemented in one school district in the county, and two other districts have indicated interest in launching the program. The evaluation measures will be used to improve the current initiative and better inform implementation and tailoring in additional schools.

Metro Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky

The Louisville Families for Quality Visitation will build on previous analyses focused on municipal policies and systems changes to support families affected by incarceration. With Action Acceleration support and funding, the team will develop and launch an action plan to improve opportunities for and quality of family visitations in the local jail. To accomplish this, they will engage decision makers as well as community members with lived experiences of the impact of incarceration on families; develop, test, and refine communications strategies and messages; and integrate successful art strategies into their information gathering and community engagement approaches.

Springfield, Massachusetts

The Healthy Hill Initiative (HHI) is one of 18 initiatives funded through the BUILD Health Challenge. The partnership’s Action Acceleration work will enhance its peer leadership approach by building the capacity of more Old Hill neighborhood residents as Resident Health Advocates (RHAs). RHAs will play key roles in policy advocacy efforts that include prioritizing and implementing the city’s Complete Streets Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan as well as the redesign of two neighborhood parks.

Irvington, New Jersey

The Irvington Health Coalition aims to improve residents’ quality of life and health behaviors, as well as the physical environment within the community. The Action Acceleration funds will support two specific components of the coalition’s work: 1) Responding to residents’ commitment to reducing exposure to hazards caused by pest infestation, and 2) increasing social support and engagement between youth and seniors. Through the Pest Management Initiative, a municipal pest management policy will be developed and implemented. The Youth/Senior Companion Program will create opportunities to pair youth with seniors and develop a sustainable leadership structure to decrease the generational gap between these populations.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of few large cities that does not have water fluoridation. The Fluoride Exposed team has a broad goal of helping people in their community understand the broad array of science and health topics related to fluoride and fluoridation. To achieve this, they will form a science advisory board with representation from the water, oral health and public health, chemistry, science and health communication, and technology fields to assist in the development and review of communications content; survey community members to get a better understanding of their perspectives on fluoride; develop and implement a strategic social media campaign; and develop an evaluation plan that will help them gauge the impact of their efforts.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Incorporating a health lens into home repair work has been one of the recent priorities of the Home Preservation Initiative. The partnership will deepen relationships and engagement with West Philadelphia residents to inform strategies based on their perceptions and experiences about the impact of home repair on their quality of life and well-being. Resident input will be gathered through rotating community workshops and will build on the qualitative study of homeowners that was led by Drexel University’s Dornslife School of Public Health in 2016. Lessons from this work will help refine the Home Preservation approach, assist with leveraging additional funding, and ultimately serve more families by increasing the number of home repairs.

South Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Building on efforts to improve access to care and to providers in rural Grundy County, the South Cumberland Plateau Health Network/Grundy Health Council has a goal of strengthening and expanding their community health ambassador program. To achieve this, they will recruit additional Health Council members from sectors currently not represented; employ an AmeriCorps VISTA Member who will focus on examining evidence-based approaches and talking to key partners and community members; and engage the community and cross-sector representatives in the implementation and sustainability of health and wellness programs.

Smithville, Texas

The Smithville Whole Health Partnership will respond to the need identified by community members during two Culture of Health Forums to design and implement high-quality, coordinated, community-based programs and resources that focus on an integrated approach to health care. To achieve this, they will build upon the It’s Time Texas initiative which offers free programs, tools, and services that leverage innovative technology and tailor it to local context. The partnership will also help community members build skills in community engagement and conflict resolutions methods, support residents in hosting Kitchen Table Talks on health interests with neighbors and friends, and partner with the Mayor to implement a Mayor’s Health Challenge.

Orleans and Northern Essex Counties, Vermont

The creation of the first satellite site of a community center health hub will be implemented by the Orleans/Northern Essex Culture of Health partnership at Brighton Elementary School. The hub will be located in Newport, the Orleans County seat. The satellite community centers will build relationships and connections and offer a variety of health promoting activities and educational opportunities based on community members’ interests. The pilot satellite center will also serve as a learning experience to inform the development and implementation of future centers throughout the two counties.

Brunswick County, Virginia

The Brunswick County Health Ambassadors include local leaders, concerned citizens, and interest groups who have united in an effort to address health issues and other associated disparities. With Action Acceleration support and funding, the partnership will launch a county-wide Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative and specific activities that will engage residents. A community-wide Photovoice project and multiple dialogue sessions will also engage youth and adults to identify opportunities for improving health in their community. Throughout the term of the project, the partnership will seek technical assistance to improve their organizational effectiveness and sustainability.