The BUILD Health Challenge (BUILD) is proud to take part in the American Hospital Association’s Community Health Improvement (CHI) week from June 4-10, 2017, to recognize community health professionals for their passion and dedication to improving the health of the communities they serve. CHI week is a national event that raises awareness, demonstrates impact and celebrates the individuals and organizations that work to improve the determinants of health in their communities. To celebrate, BUILD will highlight BUILD communities and their unique, measurable contributions to improving community health across our social media platforms.BUILD Chi Week Blog Image

BUILD communities are built on a three-pronged approach that combines the assets and visions of hospital systems, local public health departments, and community-based organizations (CBO)—with CBOs taking charge as the primary partnership leader at each site. This framework allows each BUILD site, working together, to hone in on and address the exact social determinants that are most pressing for our target communities. BUILD seeks to lift the burden of compartmentalization or “siloed interests” and identify actionable ways community, healthcare, and policy leaders can enact scalable and sustainable programs for the betterment of unhealthy and under-served communities.

Consider the vital role of upstream prevention and community-based strategies to improve health:

  • Only 20 percent of health outcomes are attributable to clinical care. Health behaviors, socioeconomic factors and the physical environment account for 80% of health, according to County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.
  • 85 percent of the nation’s hospitals report strong or total commitment to population health and 90% of hospitals agree that population health aligns with their mission, according to the American Hospital Association.
  • Non-profit hospitals in America spend $62 billion on community benefit activities annually (Health Affairs).
  • Overall, $1 invested in prevention generates returns of $5.60, according to a report by the Trust for America’s Health.
  • Investing $10 per person each year in community- based public health activities could save more than $16 billion within five years (American Public Health Foundation).

Indeed, public health experts attribute as much as 90 percent of health outcomes to the interplay and influence of social, physical, and economic environmental on health behaviors. Yet in the United States, government spending is disproportionately invested in medical care – in fact, 95 percent of health spending is dedicated to the provision of direct medical services. But these clinical care factors account for only a fraction of population health status or health outcomes in the nation. These gaps in available resources – funding, expertise, community trust and buy-in, and infrastructure – present our most pressing challenge and opportunity to realize public health improvements.

This #CHI week, and every week, the BUILD initiative challenges hospitals and policymakers to think about health outside of doctors’ offices and empower the community to become a key partner and lead driver for improving community health.

Connect with BUILD at build-health.wp.csldev.com, or follow us on Twitter at @BUILD_Health and on Facebook this week using the hashtag #CHI. Learn more about #CHI week at www.healthycommunities.org/chiweek.

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The BUILD Health Challenge is supported by an unprecedented partnership of 12 multi-sector, national, and regional foundations dedicated to improving community health, including: Advisory Board, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, The Kresge Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.