Improving Health
Through Innovative
Third Cohort
Call for Applications
Due April 5, 2019
The BUILD Health Challenge® is contributing to the creation of a new norm in the U.S. By putting
multi-sector, community-driven partnerships at the center of health. The BUILD Health Challenge is
promoting health equity and addressing health disparities caused by systemic or social inequity.
In the United States, more than 95 percent of health dollars are spent on direct medical services; however,
medical care accounts for only a fraction of our nation’s health and well-being. A far greater share, as
much as 70 percent, can be attributed to the interplay and influence of our social, physical, and economic
environments, and their effects on health behaviors. These upstream factors—often referred to as the
social determinants of health—include influences as diverse as early childhood development, employment
opportunities, food availability, air and water quality, transportation, educational attainment, public safety,
housing, and a myriad of others. No one organization in a community – or even one sector - can successfully
address these factors alone. Too often, efforts to improve community health are conducted in silos, seeking
to address big picture problems with narrowly focused interventions.
In response, several funding partners launched The BUILD Health Challenge in 2015. As an innovative
funding collaborative and award program, The BUILD Health Challenge has created a new pathway
for communities to drive sustainable improvements in health. By catalyzing and learning across
multi-sector, community-driven partnerships, this initiative is moving resources, attention, and action
upstream. Together, we can drive sustainable improvements in community health, reduce downstream
health care costs, and promote health equity.
Are you ready to BUILD with us and help tackle this challenge?
For this third cohort, The BUILD Health Challenge is looking to support up to 17 innovative collaboratives
that include a community-based organization, hospital or health system, and public health department
working together in dynamic ways to address upstream challenges and drive sustainable improvements
in community health. Inclusion of additional cross-sector partners such as health plans, businesses,
foundations, and others that are aligned with the proposed efforts are encouraged.
Each award includes:
Up to $250,000 in funding over two-and-a-half years
A robust array of coaching and support services
Specialized trainings and capacity building opportunities
Participation in a national network of peers engaged in similar work
Opportunity to spotlight your local work on a national level
A Call for
About The
BUILD Health Challenge Awards
The BUILD Health Challenge’s mission is to contribute to the development of a new norm in the U.S.: one that puts multi-sector,
community-driven partnerships at the center of health in order to reduce health disparities caused by systemic or social inequity.
With a specific focus on strengthening partnerships between community-based organizations, hospitals and health
systems, local health departments, and others, The BUILD Health Challenge awards are designed to support collaborations
ready to put Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, Data-Driven (see below descriptors) plans into action. Organizations jointly
applying for The BUILD Health Challenge award should have a strong track record of working together; have developed their
joint priorities and implementation plans with strong levels of community engagement and leadership; and be primed to
advance equitable systems-level changes in their community.
This effort is grounded in the following principles and rooted in health equity:
: Aspire toward a fundamental shift beyond short-term programmatic work to longer-
term influences over policy, regulation, and systems-level change.
: Focus on the social, environmental, and economic factors that have the greatest
influence on the health of your community and produce more equitable outcomes, rather than
on access or care delivery.
: Align the practices and perspectives of communities, health systems, and
public health under a shared vision, establishing new roles while continuing to draw upon the
strengths and diversity of each partner.
: Engage neighborhood residents and community leaders as key voices and thought
leaders throughout all stages of planning and implementation, with a particular focus on
populations most affected by health disparities and inequities.
: Use data from both clinical and community sources as a tool to: disaggregate
data to identify inequities and understand areas of highest need, measure meaningful change,
facilitate transparency among stakeholders, and generate actionable insights.
To date, The BUILD Health Challenge has invested more than $12.5 million to support 37 multi-sector, community-driven
partnerships around the country. Examples of past supported efforts include:
Working to reduce chronic stress, social isolation, and sedentary lifestyles in a community by increasing investments in
public spaces and safety, stabilizing and enriching residential and business communities, and influencing key decision-
makers around issues affecting the community’s health;
Creating an interdisciplinary network of supports to address environmental and social asthma triggers among children,
including changes to the built environment (e.g., home repairs), access to care, and social support;
Improving behavioral health outcomes of young children by supporting universal psychosocial, developmental, and
maternal well-being screening to identify and respond to underlying needs before children experience negative long-term
consequence; and
Changing organizational practices and policies to support breastfeeding in communities and among families.
Many more examples can be found on our “
” webpage.
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