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Lessons and Impact in BHC

Across the BHC sites, residents are stepping into their power, institutional leaders and elected officials are collaborating across sectors, and youth are holding adults accountable for working with them to create healthy and safe places to live, learn, work and play.  Take Omar, a Fresno BHC leader.  He lives in a neighborhood that faces gang pressure.  He began going to BHC meetings as a volunteer, to share his opinions on how to make the community healthier, and was supported in becoming a leader in the site.  He is now helping to lead the efforts to engage youth in making Fresno a healthier place for everyone.  There are many more “Omars” coming up in Fresno and across the BHC sites.  And together, the growing leadership base is driving change.  Like coming together to design and get County approval for a public park, including a playground, performance space, community garden, and shade structure for those 110 degree days.  The space serves a mobile home park in an area of Eastern Coachella Valley where running water is only slightly more common than clean water, providing the relief and relaxation the farming community needs to take the edge off very stressful living and working conditions.  Given the successes mounting in each site, the best way to learn more about all of our progress is to visit the site descriptions, which will take you to each community’s own websites and social media, or see some case studies and newsletters highlighting the exciting work across BHC sites.  

Being effective doesn’t just mean celebrating success.  It also means taking time for reflection and learning. For more information about Building Healthy Communities’ approach to evaluation, both within the sites and across the state, click here. There are also some emerging learnings that we have not yet completely studied; to read more about them, click here. Finally, there have been two independent examinations of Building Healthy Communities to date:

- The Foundation Strategy Group was engaged to conduct a Strategic Review of TCE’s Building Healthy Communities initiative and was given a set of strategic questions that are answered in “The California Endowment Strategic Review: Building Healthy Communities

- University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity’s report, was asked to weave together the Building Healthy Communities story across sites – what’s happening and what needs to happen to realize BHC’s potential within and beyond the 14 sites and to sustain the momentum after the initiative formally ends in 2020 – described in “There’s Something Happening Here… A Look at The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative.

BHC in the News

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Your zip code shouldn't determine how long you live, but it does. Health Happens Here challenges us to think about health beyond doctor visits and diets. We have the power to make health happen where we live, learn and play.