What does it take to create lasting change when it comes to improving health in communities? The BUILD Health Challenge (BUILD) followed the work of 19 different communities across the US over the last two years as part of BUILD’s second awardee cohort. We’ve captured highlights from their efforts, including their successes, challenges, and outcomes in a short-form narrative now available here. (All 19 communities received, and participated in BUILD’s second award cohort.)

Each community formed a cross-sector and community-driven collaborative that aimed to drive sustainable improvements in health by applying bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven approaches. The shared goal of all the participating communities was to foster systems level changes that would contribute to greater health equity.

Designed for health practitioners interested in creating changes that last, as well as leaders in any field looking to collaborate across sectors for better health–these 19 stories provide a look at what is possible when community based organizations, hospitals and health systems, public health departments, and residents work together for better health. Whether you’re interested in or working on food insecurity,  asthma, lead poisoning, tobacco cessation, or a different health issue—these short and relatable stories help bring these challenges to life. Each one documents the progress made, challenges met, and lives changed in these communities with practical takeaways that any practitioner can not only relate to, but also benefit from.


Aurora, CO – BUILD Health Aurora
Charlotte, NC – Building Uplifted Families
Cincinnati, OH – Avondale Children Thrive
Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Healthy Homes Data Collection
Colorado Springs, CO – Project Detour: Interrupting the Cycle of Addiction in El Paso County, Colorado
Covington and Gallatin Counties, KY – Reducing Tobacco Use through Innovative Data Sharing
Des Moines, IA – Healthy Homes Des Moines
Franklin, NJ – Forward, Franklin
Greensboro, NC – Collaborative Cottage Grove
Houston, TX – Bridging Health and Safety in Near Northside
Jackson, MS – Transforming Breastfeeding Culture in Mississippi
Lafayette, CO – Raising of America Partnership in Boulder County
New Brunswick, NJ – New Brunswick Healthy Housing Collaborative
New Orleans, LA – BUILD Health Mobility
Philadelphia, PA – Home Preservation Initiative for Health Living
Pittsburgh, PA – Thrive18
St. Louis, MO – FLOURISH: St. Louis
Trenton, NJ – Trenton Transformation: A Safe & Healthy Corridor
Washington, DC – Healthy Together Medical-Legal Partnership[ for Improving Asthma in Southeast DC


Whether you read just one story about a specific issue that resonates with you, or all 19 to better understand the BUILD principles, there are valuable lessons to be learned, and important perspectives to understand. We encourage you to read these stories with the companion piece, Community Approaches to Systems Change, which highlights insights and learnings from the second BUILD cohort related to sustainable improvements in community health, health equity, partnerships, and community engagement.