[Philanthropy News Digest]

The BUILD Health Challenge has announced implementation and planning grants totaling nearly $2.6 million to eighteen projects designed to improve health in low-income communities.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded by the Advisory Board Company and the de Beaumont, Colorado Health, Kresge, andRobert Wood Johnson foundations to foster partnerships among local nonprofit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments aimed at improving the health and well-being of local residents. In its initial round of funding, the collaborative announced implementation grants of $250,000 over two years to seven organizations to strengthen existing partnerships, jump-start more advanced health data and analytics initiatives, and expand their impact. The partnering health system on each implementation award also has committed to match the grants with financial and in-kind support. Recipients include the Healthy Ontario Initiative in Ontario, California, which will use its grant to improve access to healthy, affordable food and safe places to be active, with the goal of reducing high rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases; Engaging the Community in New Approaches to Healthy Housing in Cleveland, which will use the funds to remediate substandard housing in the Brooklyn Center neighborhood with the goal of curbing lead poisoning, asthma, and heart disease; and Improving Health through a Sustainable Food System of Pasadena, Texas, which will use its grant to develop a community-supported food system aimed at reducing obesity and improving obesity-related health outcomes.

In addition, eleven organizations received planning grants of $75,000 to kick-start nascent projects that address specific health challenges with a committed group of community partners. Recipients include Youth Driven Healthy South Los Angeles, which aims to engage area youth in leading a sustained movement toward health, safety, and wellness; Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Screening and Support in Aurora, Colorado, which will help connect local families to a network of clinical and community-based resources; and the Healthy Hill Initiative in Springfield, Massachusetts, which will work to improve public safety and spur economic development in the city’s Old Hill neighborhood.

BUILD Health Challenge Announces 18 Inaugural Awardees From Across the Nation.” BUILD Health Challenge Press Release 06/09/2015.