Portland was named one of 18 grantees across the country to receive funds from the BUILD Health Challenge, a national awards program that seeks to strengthen the relationship between health care systems, local health departments, and community-based organizations. Led by the Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI), Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) and Providence Health and Services and supported by many East Portland community stakeholders, the initiative, BUILDing Health and Equity in East Portland, will work to reduce health inequities and social disparities in East Portland. The BUILD Health Challenge awarded grants to 18 groundbreaking projects that aim to improve health in low-income communities. The projects were recognized on the strengths of their BOLD, UPSTREAM, INTEGRATED, LOCAL, and DATA-DRIVEN approaches to address the social and environmental factors that have the greatest impact on health. The BUILD Health Challenge is designed to accelerate collaborative approaches to addressing the social and environmental determinants of health across the nation. Working in close partnership with the awardees, the BUILD Health Challenge will also be identifying and disseminating the most promising models of population health improvement to stimulate these kinds of initiatives in other communities. The BUILD Health Challenge is working work collaboratively, from a foundation of community self-determination, with East Portland culturally specific stakeholders to develop an innovative East Portland Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that will ensure that all East Portland residents have the opportunity to achieve the highest level of health. East Portland has been historically underfunded in terms of infrastructure and services with an increasingly diverse population; particularly, low-income households and community of color residents. OPHI is the lead convener of the BUILD health equity collaborative with support from the MCHD. Initial partners include the four health systems (Kaiser Permanente NW, Legacy Health, Providence Health & Services, and Adventist Health), United Way/Early Learning Multnomah (ELM), ROSE Community Development Corporation (Rose CDC), El Programa Hispano/Catholic Charities (EPH), Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Urban League of Portland (UL), and Latino Network (LN). OPHI is working with these partners to hold community health forums to identify community health strengths and challenges that will inform the development of the East Portland CHIP.

To date, OPHI has helped coordinate community health forums with the Latino, African-American, Native American, African Immigrant, Asian Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian populations residing in East Portland to hear from these respective communities their community health strengths and needs. This data collected from these forums will be incorporated into the final CHIP, as it is a central tenet that the CHIP fully incorporates the community voice.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage community partnerships among local non-profit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments to improve the health and well-being of their residents. For more information, contact Ty Schwoefferman at Ty@ophi.org.

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