This collaborative is working together to pass tobacco free policies and reduce tobacco use in two Northern Kentucky communities: Covington and Gallatin County. The project will improve data-driven decision making while softening residents’ perceptions about tobacco-free environments. The short-term impacts include healthier residents, increased use of data to plan and evaluate complex health programs, and collaboration across sectors to address health problems in Northern Kentucky. The desired long-term impact is that fewer people will face tobacco-related chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, lung problems, and cancer. And those exposed to secondhand smoke will have improved outcomes and fewer children will start smoking. In addition, the resident tax burden from smoking ($1,168 per household) will decrease. The ultimate goal of the grant is to see a 2% reduction in the adult smoking rate in Covington and a 1% reduction in Gallatin County by August 2019.


BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.


This program focuses on: 1) innovative sharing of local-level data for integration, analysis and mapping of  health conditions, tobacco use, and behavioral health issues; and 2) a wide variety of project strategies, including community nano-grants (small grants that promote creative interventions from local residents), marketing campaigns, community advocates, focus groups, and local government education.


The partnership develops new ways to approach tobacco cessation and leverage the business community and data sharing to build capacity to change local tobacco policy. In particular, the integration of resident driven messages from the nano-grants aims to help change social norms among residents. As social norms change, fewer people will start smoking, making this a truly preventative approach.


This collaboration allows the partners to build upon existing relationships, while also creating new systems among them such as data sharing and processes for community engagement. Establishing this unique data collection system allows partners to target their interventions.


Close community involvement changes the way residents come together to solve problems. This element is exemplified by the program’s nano-grants, which are structured to promote creative interventions from residents to address upstream factors. For example, a nano-grant could fund a smoking cessation neighborhood “support group.” Community advocates and local focus groups with business owners will convene to discuss influencing county policies around smoke-free establishments.


De-identified clinical and patient-level data is shared between St. Elizabeth Healthcare, local police departments, and the two health departments. In addition, a new system is used to capture this local data to target specific community locations for interventions and create baselines of tobacco use and community health profiles. Select data is also shared with community members to develop messaging and measure post-intervention tobacco use patterns.