Action Acceleration Communities

Sitka, Alaska

Sitka is a remote island community whose population is dissected by great disparities across income, opportunity, health, class, and race. One example of the impact of these disparities is inequitable access to afterschool and extracurricular activities for high school students. As part of its broader health improvement efforts, the Sitka Health Summit Coalition will build upon the efforts of the school district and community stakeholders to improve equitable youth access to opportunity through the establishment of a student activity and health equity fund. It will be a flexible fund administered using equity principles to lower financial barriers to activities for students qualifying for the free- or reduced-lunch program. The fund will be piloted at Sitka High School with a goal to expand its reach to all schools in the district.

North Orange County, California    

Four city collaboratives in the county have a common goal of developing and implementing local policies to reduce sugar sweetened beverages in a current climate of limited government. The Action Acceleration funding will enable leaders from Fullerton, Placentia, La Habra, and Buena Park to receive technical assistance and support to coordinate efforts for a stronger outcome. They will identify policy allies and opponents, engage decision makers, and develop action plans to build political will and act on policy changes. Each of the city collaboratives include members representing city government, school districts, community based organizations, faith groups, and businesses.

Santa Ana, California

Santa Ana currently has more than 100 unused, city-owned properties. Active Streets (SAAS) and their partners will build on previous efforts to advance a culture of health by incorporating community-driven planning to determine how this vacant land can be best used in ways that promote community health. SAAS will leverage its role as a respected community convener to build residents’ capacity and engagement in planning and decision making, and strengthen partner engagement to advance a systems change strategy for the Community Land Trust. The Trust presents opportunities for addressing community concerns, developing a walkable community, and incorporating active living in Santa Ana.

Chicago, Illinois

The Health Forward/Salud Adelante–BUILD Partnership includes public health stakeholders, poverty lawyers and advocates, community organizations, and a groundbreaking Medical Legal Partnership rooted in community engagement. They will focus on two projects to further their goal of identifying systemic issues and action steps to address social determinants of health. A mapping project will improve health outcomes by identifying current sharable safety strategies, iterating new ideas to enhance community safety, and identifying barriers related to safety and violence. Ten mapping workshops will be held in focus neighborhoods, and community leaders will be trained and engaged throughout the process. The second project will build stakeholder capacity around design-thinking approaches. This will enable them to create tools that address Chicago’s housing, zoning, and land-use laws as well as policies that have more impact and are accessible for residents with low literacy and limited English proficiency.

Wabash County, Indiana

The Be Well Wabash County partnership is focusing on strengthening both objective and practice-tested measures of the Be Well Schools healthy school initiative. The initiative includes programs that engage students and parents in fitness activities, policies that incorporate physical activity into the school schedule, and fitness clubs which provide social support for students and teachers. Be Well Wabash has been successfully implemented in one school district in the county, and two other districts have indicated interest in launching the program. The evaluation measures will be used to improve the current initiative and better inform implementation and tailoring in additional schools.

Metro Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky

The Louisville Families for Quality Visitation will build on previous analyses focused on municipal policies and systems changes to support families affected by incarceration. With Action Acceleration support and funding, the team will develop and launch an action plan to improve opportunities for and quality of family visitations in the local jail. To accomplish this, they will engage decision makers as well as community members with lived experiences of the impact of incarceration on families; develop, test, and refine communications strategies and messages; and integrate successful art strategies into their information gathering and community engagement approaches.

Franklin County, Massachusetts

As a 2015-16 Roadmaps Action Awardee, the Franklin County team completed a comprehensive research and planning process that resulted in the regions’ first Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The strategies are organized by health factor, with a subset targeted for implementation during the next year. The Franklin County team has successfully secured resources to implement many of the priority health factors, and the Action Acceleration support will now enable them to improve school nutrition. Franklin County is a geographically dispersed rural region with ten separate regional school districts and dozens of schools. School food service directors are interested and ready to receive technical assistance to help them implement changes to their policies and practices on food placement, food marketing, and local food purchasing. This work is a component of the broader CHIP implementation process.

Springfield, Massachusetts

The Healthy Hill Initiative (HHI) is one of 18 initiatives funded through the BUILD Health Challenge. The partnership’s Action Acceleration work will enhance its peer leadership approach by building the capacity of more Old Hill neighborhood residents as Resident Health Advocates (RHAs). RHAs will play key roles in policy advocacy efforts that include prioritizing and implementing the city’s Complete Streets Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan as well as the redesign of two neighborhood parks.

Missoula, Montana

Weatherization assistance programs are intended to help low-income residents save energy, reduce utility bills, and stay safe in their homes. The Missoula Manufactured Home Rehab and Replacement partnership is working to strengthen its program by establishing a core group of well-trained volunteers to conduct home assessments and repairs, as well as implement a referral and volunteer management system that can be sustained by existing partner organizations. The home weatherization program serves hundreds of families in Missoula each year. Local organizations such as the food bank, aging services, and department of health and human services focus half of their efforts on residents in the program service area.

Lincoln-Lancaster County, Nebraska

NeighborWorks Lincoln and the coaching team have developed strong collaborations with the city’s food council, the county health department, Nebraska Extension, Community Health Endowment, and Community Crops to address and impact access to healthy food in their community. The Action Acceleration funding will support a garden revitalization project that will provide the immediate community-level engagement and impact to keep stakeholders involved in their longer-term efforts. A cadre of volunteers will be trained to repair, improve and maintain gardens that have been operating for more than ten years in the South Downtown area, which is a food desert. The volunteers and partners will link the garden project to the broader network of strategies for increasing healthy food access including the youth market and gardens, neighborhood farmers’ market, and produce tasting and educational activities.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

The Homeless Assessment Response Team (HART), organized by the Atlantic City Attorney General’s Office, is a multi-agency (law enforcement, social service, healthcare) collaboration working to share data and coordinate services in order to provide a continuum of care for at-risk or homeless residents. Through the Action Acceleration opportunity, HART and the CARE AC Coalition will gain skills in Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM), an approach promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that will enable the partnership to identify current gaps in homeless services, strengthen cross-collaboration among partner agencies, and move towards actions that will better integrate community services to address homelessness.

Elizabeth, New Jersey

Efforts to address food insecurity by the Shaping Elizabeth Food Policy Council (SEFPC) will be advanced through the Action Acceleration opportunity. The council will leverage previous successes including engagement of 13 organizations, identification of current food distribution sites in the community, and strengthening of communications and capacity amongst current food pantry providers. The SEFPC will create systems changes that will require current food provider contracts to include provision and promotion of fresh produce and other healthy food options, and increase the number of food distribution sites in areas of the city that currently do not have adequate services.

Irvington, New Jersey

The Irvington Health Coalition aims to improve residents’ quality of life and health behaviors, as well as the physical environment within the community. The Action Acceleration funds will support two specific components of the coalition’s work: 1) Responding to residents’ commitment to reducing exposure to hazards caused by pest infestation, and 2) increasing social support and engagement between youth and seniors. Through the Pest Management Initiative, a municipal pest management policy will be developed and implemented. The Youth/Senior Companion Program will create opportunities to pair youth with seniors and develop a sustainable leadership structure to decrease the generational gap between these populations.

Newark, New Jersey

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Impact Team of the Believe in a Healthier Newark Initiative is an interdisciplinary group of stakeholders that identifies best practices, and seeks to implement and disseminate them with a goal of making Newark a trauma-informed city. The Team’s Action Acceleration work will focus on engaging youth to inform impactful approaches to address ACE and resiliency. A Newark Youth Healing Team will be established in partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program and a local high school. This team will build their own capacity related to ACES, support and mobilize peers in skill-building around resilience, and help develop a model to expand the number of Youth Healing Teams throughout the city.

Ocean County, New Jersey

Senior isolation was identified through research and a community-wide listening tour as a key need to address in order to advance a Culture of Health in Ocean County. There are more than 160,000 residents over the age of 60, many of whom live alone in one of 19 senior communities in the county. Currently, resources and support services are not coordinated across the senior communities. The Toms River Family Health & Support Coalition is developing a Senior Ambassador model which will serve as a basis for a coordinated community-wide system to address senior isolation. Ambassadors within senior communities will help build social networks and engage those who are at risk of social isolation.

Curry County, Oregon

The Curry County Homeless Coalition has a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The county has more than 200 registered nonprofits and the team has identified as many as 40 with missions focused on the underserved or most vulnerable in the community. The Action Acceleration support will enable the Coalition to better engage stakeholders and improve coordination of services to address homelessness in the county. A countywide workshop will be held for the 40 nonprofit partners to identify, plan, and implement collaborative projects in the Coalition’s 10 Year Plan. At the conference, three work groups will be organized to lead ongoing work to address youth homelessness, housing and homeless portals. The Coalition will also host a poverty and homeless simulation event for stakeholders and decision makers to experience what it’s like to be homeless, identify opportunities to close gaps in services, and influence policy and programmatic changes. Members of the coalition will participate in site visits to regional organizations that have effectively addressed homelessness in order to learn from their successes and explore partnerships to enhance services in the county.

Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of few large cities that does not have water fluoridation. The Fluoride Exposed team has a broad goal of helping people in their community understand the broad array of science and health topics related to fluoride and fluoridation. To achieve this, they will form a science advisory board with representation from the water, oral health and public health, chemistry, science and health communication, and technology fields to assist in the development and review of communications content; survey community members to get a better understanding of their perspectives on fluoride; develop and implement a strategic social media campaign; and develop an evaluation plan that will help them gauge the impact of their efforts.

Blair County, Pennsylvania

The Healthy Blair County Coalition is a partnership of over 100 members committed to promoting the social, economic, emotional, and physical well-being of residents in its rural community, where childhood poverty is a top concerns. The Coalition will take a multi-strategic approach including hosting a “call to action” summit. This summit will engage partners and residents to inform and commit to collective action across areas that relate to childhood poverty. These include school attendance and academic success, workforce development, school and community interventions, mentoring, and pro-social activities and community engagement. Workgroups will be established with resident leaders to address these areas and implement action toward long-term strategies to address childhood poverty.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Incorporating a health lens into home repair work has been one of the recent priorities of the Home Preservation Initiative. The partnership will deepen relationships and engagement with West Philadelphia residents to inform strategies based on their perceptions and experiences about the impact of home repair on their quality of life and well-being. Resident input will be gathered through rotating community workshops and will build on the qualitative study of homeowners that was led by Drexel University’s Dornslife School of Public Health in 2016. Lessons from this work will help refine the Home Preservation approach, assist with leveraging additional funding, and ultimately serve more families by increasing the number of home repairs.

South Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Building on efforts to improve access to care and to providers in rural Grundy County, the South Cumberland Plateau Health Network/Grundy Health Council has a goal of strengthening and expanding their community health ambassador program. To achieve this, they will recruit additional Health Council members from sectors currently not represented; employ an AmeriCorps VISTA Member who will focus on examining evidence-based approaches and talking to key partners and community members; and engage the community and cross-sector representatives in the implementation and sustainability of health and wellness programs.

Smithville, Texas

The Smithville Whole Health Partnership will respond to the need identified by community members during two Culture of Health Forums to design and implement high-quality, coordinated, community-based programs and resources that focus on an integrated approach to health care. To achieve this, they will build upon the It’s Time Texas initiative which offers free programs, tools, and services that leverage innovative technology and tailor it to local context. The partnership will also help community members build skills in community engagement and conflict resolution methods, support residents in hosting Kitchen Table Talks on health interests with neighbors and friends, and partner with the Mayor to implement a Mayor’s Health Challenge.

Orleans and Northern Essex Counties, Vermont

The creation of the first satellite site of a community center health hub will be implemented by the Orleans/Northern Essex Culture of Health partnership at Brighton Elementary School. The hub will be located in Newport, the Orleans County seat. The satellite community centers will build relationships and connections and offer a variety of health promoting activities and educational opportunities based on community members’ interests. The pilot satellite center will also serve as a learning experience to inform the development and implementation of future centers throughout the two counties.

Brunswick County, Virginia

The Brunswick County Health Ambassadors include local leaders, concerned citizens, and interest groups who have united in an effort to address health issues and other associated disparities. With Action Acceleration support and funding, the partnership will launch a county-wide Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative and specific activities that will engage residents. A community-wide Photovoice project and multiple dialogue sessions will also engage youth and adults to identify opportunities for improving health in their community. Throughout the term of the project, the partnership will seek technical assistance to improve their organizational effectiveness and sustainability.

Chesapeake City, Virginia

Healthy Chesapeake takes a neighborhood-level approach to affecting city-wide change. Harbour North/Rivers ranks among those neighborhoods with the highest crime rates and lowest socio-economic status in the city. In the midst of these challenges, the Civic League and local churches are bedrocks with close ties to residents. These neighborhood leaders will partner with the Healthy Chesapeake Coalition to develop a model one-stop neighborhood learning and wellness site (or SPARK center) to bring a variety of programs and services directly into the neighborhood. This strategy will increase access to active lifestyle programs, healthy food, chronic disease case management, academic services, and mentoring and leadership development. Outcomes and lessons from this work will help the coalition build a broader-based model that can be tailored to other neighborhoods.

Washington County, Virginia

Washington County is located in Southwest Virginia, a region that leads the state and nation in opioid abuse. In response, the Washington County Rural Impact County Challenge partners are providing tangible support and tools to families of young children affected by substance abuse. Partners are also facilitating systems-building with additional programs and agencies to address needs arising from the increasing numbers of infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The partnership is developing a one-stop referral and support system of care that includes a sustainable support group; training in Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma-informed parenting for families and caregivers; and a summit for stakeholders that will serve as a catalyst for creating a cross-agency plan to support families affected by substance abuse.

Weber County, Utah

The Weber County Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee is leading an effort to advance systems change to help affected families, especially children, break the cycle of poverty and develop economic mobility. The Action Acceleration opportunity will support the creation of a mechanism for identifying and supporting at-risk children and families through interagency alignment, shared staffing, and integrated information systems (e.g., intake forms, processes and indicators) with the goal of improving access to services for community members. The Committee will also work with partners to complete an inventory of agencies and programs aligned with the county’s intergenerational poverty goals.