Photo by Christina Morillo

Last week, The BUILD Health Challenge (BUILD) began accepting applications for its new, fourth cohort (also known as BUILD 4.0). This latest iteration of BUILD is set to launch in early 2023 with the goal of driving sustainable improvements in community health and promoting health equity. We’re looking for up to 19 community collaboratives to participate. So, if you’re working in a cross-sector and community-driven collaborative with an innovative idea to support better health for all in your community, I encourage you to apply today! (Deadline to apply is June 30, 2022.)

Check Out BUILD 4.0’s Call for Applications


BUILD 4.0 represents countless hours of conversations, reflection, and reimagining what is possible in community health with more than 100 stakeholders, including awardees, funders, partners, and peers. For those of you who know BUILD already, this new cohort may look and feel familiar. However, we’ve made several significant changes that more effectively support BUILD’s continued commitment to health equity and explicitly center community, both in strategy and practice. Examples include:

  • Updating the BUILD principles to explicitly reference BUILD’s focus on health equity and racial justice;
  • Naming residents/community groups as a required, core partner within each BUILD community;
  • Increasing the length of the award cycle from two and a half years to three years;
  • Increasing the potential award amount from $250,000 to $300,000 per community;
  • Decreasing the city population threshold to apply to 100,000 (from 150,000);
  • Adjusting the application process to encourage the co-design of ideas with community members;
  • Hiring past awardees to join BUILD’s team as technical assistance providers and program advisors; and
  • Reinforcing power-building efforts within communities by galvanizing the network of 55 (74 including BUILD 4.0) BUILD communities across the country.

These changes represent only a fraction of the ideas, questions, and debates BUILD stakeholders contemplated over the course of the last year and a half. (To learn more about this process, check out BUILD’s Listening Tour and Health Equity Journey findings.) And I have no doubt there are still more conversations and changes to come. It is the ability to remain nimble and responsive, while firmly anchored by our commitment to driving sustainable improvements in community health, that make BUILD, an important as vehicles for learning, innovation, and change.

One other important shift that you won’t see listed here or in the call for applications but is evident in the new cohort is the change in BUILD’s own policies and practices—acknowledging that we can, and must, do a better job of centering community efforts. We know we have more to learn on this front as well and are excited to continue this transformation alongside our partners. If you’re interested in taking this journey together with us, be sure to apply today for the new fourth cohort!


Special thanks to the partners that make BUILD 4.0 possible:

The BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, Healthy Communities Foundation, Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., Missouri Foundation for Health, ProMedica, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Trinity Health, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.