Copy of cover of BUILD workbook.Recently, The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) announced 13 new partnerships with BUILD awardees, bringing the total to 68 community-driven collaboratives that have been part of BUILD since the first cohort was launched in 2015. The knowledge and power across these communities is immense. The knowledge and power across these communities is immense. Over 500 local partners have submitted ideas and proposals to BUILD since our launch to create system change in food access, healthy and affordable housing, built environment, transportation, and more. However, even that number is a drop in the bucket compared to all of you who have ambitious goals for your own thriving neighborhoods, communities, and cities. Our shared success is based on how well we support all communities on this journey.

Partnering with diverse sectors, amplifying power for historically marginalized community members, and shifting the established community conditions that drive health can feel daunting in the face of the structural barriers that hold us back. From those who are just embarking on this challenging and rewarding work – and from those who are deep in it – we often get questions like: 

  • How do I partner with my local healthcare system about working on root causes of health issues with us? 
  • What are the best practices for centering community voice?
  • How do we plan for sustainability?  
  • Who do we need to work with to create more equitable policy change?  
  • Our partners have an aligned goal and want to move forward – now what?  

The practices and principles of BUILD can serve as a model for change, and the experience of BUILD communities as a resource for best practices. From the network of practitioners, local advocates, and experts that are the drivers of BUILD’s impact, we have collected our best recommendations, practices, activities, and tools to serve as a guide. We share them with you in our new resource, the BUILD Community Health Workbook 

Explore the Workbook.

The BUILD Workbook is a culmination of four cohorts of learning and experience. The collaborative activities within were formed alongside BUILD’s third cohort, and the Workbook was piloted by the fourth cohort applicants during their Accelerator program in late 2022; their input and feedback are reflected here. It builds upon the Getting BUILD-Ready Guide, and upon the experience of BUILD partners who have shared their stories and on-the-ground experiences with us, to give practical tools and guidance for how to move forward – with or without a BUILD award. 

We are moving, slowly but surely, toward a new vision of health in the U.S. – one that centers community voice, understands the toxic effect of racism on our collective wellbeing, and shares responsibility for improving the root causes and systems that impact our health. When thinking long term, the “how” becomes as critical as the “what” of your accomplishments. We hope the BUILD Workbook can serve as a steppingstone for you, and a foundation to return to as you iterate, grow, and flourish.

Tell us: What do you wish you had known at the start of your initiative? What set your partnership up for success? What are you building?  


This workbook was created in partnership with ChangeLab Solutions. ChangeLab is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that uses the tools of law and policy to advance health equity. Since 2019, they have served as the technical assistance provider for BUILD communities, partnering with awardees to support their partnerships, disseminate best practices and resources, and advance systems changes that improve health and opportunity.   

Special thanks to Phebe Gibson, Managing Director, and Sara Bartel, Senior Attorney, at ChangeLab, as well as our partners at Do Tank, who contributed their extensive knowledge in community health, policy, design thinking, and innovation to this workbook.