Over the last three years, BUILD awardees have been working toward addressing social determinants of health and advancing health equity in their communities. To commemorate the end of our third cohort and spotlight their impactful work, we will be sharing each of our 18 communities’ stories — highlighting the partners’ collaborative approach to creating meaningful change in their community, the challenges they faced, and the transformative impact of these efforts for residents.

As part of the broader Houston area, Alief, Texas, has historically been known as one of the country’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse communities in the country. With over 90 languages spoken and one of the nation’s youngest medium ages for residents between 30 and 34.8, Alief and its diverse residents continue to face extreme challenges in receiving adequate government resources – especially when it comes to prenatal care and education for young communities of color teen moms.

To address the key social determinant of health leading to Alief’s extremely high newborn and maternal mortality rates, Maternal Upstream Management (MUM) began partnering with the Hope Clinic, the City of Houston Health Department, the Texas Department of Health, Community Health Choice, WIC, Texas A&M Nutrition, March of Dimes, Urban Harvest,
and Houston Community College as part of the Alief Super Neighborhood Council. This community-led, cross-sector BUILD collaboration ultimately led to the MUM program, which aimed to create an environment in which Alief women can access quality, affordable, and early prenatal care, family planning, and parenting skills to improve their children and their own overall health.

Over the past three years, the Houston BUILD community has been able to:

  • Partner with the Maternal Upstream Management (MUM) program to provide sixty two teen moms in Alief, Texas with holistic nutrition classes;
  • Identify and collaborate with community advocates and leaders to help fifty-four teen moms complete MUM’s Child and Baby First Aid/CPR classes;
  • And, as a result of MUM’s classes and direct prenatal services, ensure that fifty-eight babies born to teen moms at full term with no complications; four of which were healthy after NICU stay; and all survived.

“The collaboration has broken the silos and has allowed us to really look at how the social determinants of health are affecting pregnancy outcomes, specifically in young teen mothers.”
—Natasha Butler, Alief Super Neighborhood Council

Read more about the Houston BUILD collaborative’s impact and stay tuned monthly for more BUILD community stories!