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.

Photo by PNW Production

In historically disenfranchised communities like DC Wards 7 and 8, children are disproportionately exposed to trauma that impacts their health. Much of this trauma is composed of accumulated Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and community violence, both of which are linked to increased odds of developing chronic illnesses such as pediatric asthma. The negative effects of trauma, however, can be reduced through positive protective factors that build children’s resilience. This collaborative aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of children by increasing protective factors through community-led and data-driven solutions designed to support families and improve positive outcomes for kids.

Over the past three years, the Healthy Together Medical-Legal Partnership has been able to:

  • Provide direct legal services to more than 700 children and families.
  • Conduct more than 30 trainings and consults for medical providers to 1,000+ families.
  • Formalize and grow a parent leadership group.
  • Support parents to become program facilitators and create safe spaces for peer-to-peer connections.

“Through that collaboration, and with DC Health’s guidance and leadership, we immersed ourselves in learning more about Adverse Childhood Experiences and how our Medical-Legal Partnership and BUILD models could contribute to building resilience and mitigating the effects of trauma.” – Tracy Goodman, the Healthy Together Director at Children’s Law Center

Read more about the Healthy Together project in Washington, DC, and stay tuned for more BUILD community stories coming next month! All stories to date can be found here.