Today, The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) announces its Fourth Cohort of awardees, including 13 new communities throughout the U.S., that will receive a total of $8.5 million in funding and resources to advance health equity over the next three years. The selected projects and communities are: 

  • A Resident-Led Economic Opportunity Initiative to Improve Health Equity – Economic opportunity [Muskegon Heights, MI] 
  • Addressing Trauma in Foreign-Born Communities through Mental and Behavioral Health – Mental and behavioral health, immigration [St. Louis, MO]
  • Bridges to Care San Antonio – Mental and behavioral health [San Antonio, TX]
  • BUILD Payette – Healthy housing [Payette, ID] 
  • Building a Healthier Cincinnati – Maternal and child health, economic opportunity [Cincinnati, OH] 
  • Built Environment Work Group of South King County – Built environment, transportation [Seattle, WA] 
  • From the Ground Up: Building Health for Allentown children by Improving Early Childhood Development – Child health [Allentown, PA] 
  • Improving Health and Development through Access to Childcare Initiative – Child health [Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ] 
  • Race, Food, and Justice: Resident-Led Change to Support a Sustainable Food System – Food access [Cleveland, OH] 
  • San Diego Refugee Communities Health through Housing (HTH) Project – Healthy housing, immigration [San Diego, CA] 
  • San Joaquin County Transforming Communities for Healing – Mental and behavioral health [Stockton, CA] 
  • WHOLE Schools Movement – Mental and behavioral health, child health [Durham, NC] 
  • Working Towards an Equitable Health Landscape: Food is Medicine – Food access [Boone, NC] 

Launched in 2015, BUILD addresses the root causes of our most pressing health challenges head on by changing the conditions in our society, environment, and policies that impact health and well-being at the population level. While access to care and treatment remain critical issues in the U.S., it is only a small piece of the puzzle when addressing health disparities and long-term well-being of a community. BUILD invests in community-centered, multi-sector partnerships that strive to ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy.  

BUILD communities are working to level the playing field. Health disparities across the country have been caused or exacerbated by systemic racism and disinvestment; no organization or sector can address all of the interlocking drivers of health inequity alone. True health transformation requires a shared responsibility to move these systems of oppression and neglect towards justice and universal well-being. 

Learn more about the Fourth Cohort of BUILD Communities.

The BUILD Health Challenge is excited to fund diverse collaboratives that are addressing critical issues such as healthy housing, food security, maternal and child health, the built environment, and mental health through an equity- and justice-driven lens. Each community-based collaborative is backed by a local or county health department, and a hospital, health system, or health plan that provides monetary and/or in-kind support to the project, collectively adding more than $5 million to the overall award total. 

The first three cohorts of the BUILD Health Challenge included 55 initiatives across 25 states and the District of Columbia. To date, the awardees’ efforts have yielded promising policy changes and community health solutions, including updating local regulations ensuring access to clean water; creating publicly accessible databases to identify neighborhood-level trends; abolishing food deserts by creating sustainable food enterprises; and creating new organizational structures that center community voice in decision making. 

We’re excited to welcome more communities and regions to the BUILD family and our network of community health leaders. Key partners in Cleveland and Cincinnati return for the Fourth Cohort, demonstrating their longstanding commitment to advancing resident leadership and justice in their communities.   

The BUILD Health Challenge is proud to acknowledge the invaluable support of the philanthropic collaborative that guides this effort. The Fourth Cohort is made possible with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, Missouri Foundation for Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Trinity Health, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  

Read the press release here.