Greater Northside Health Collaborative (BUILD 2.0)
Originally an initiative of the BUILD Health Challenge, the Greater Northside Health Collaborative was convened to address upstream health and safety issues including building a safe environment, reducing crime, ensuring healthy homes, and implementing food-as-health and excercise-as-medicine or residents of the Near Northside neighborhood.
What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?
- They have three priorities: (1) increase quality physical and mental health care access, (2) expand active living resources and culture, and (3) increase food security and healthy food access.
- Partners became community allies that protect, educate, and address unmet needs together, not individually.
- Various organizations were striving for the same goals, systems, and data initially. It was a matter of collaborating to align these systems and improve neighborhoods.
- Three main organizations (community-based nonprofit Avenue CDC, Memorial Hermann, Houston Health Department) initially worked together to lead the collaborative. Currently, Avenue is the only organization leading the collaboration.
- Hospitals, health departments, and community-based organizations are needed to establish a common language to describe the work.
- Staff turnover at membership organizations made governance challenging.
- The health department and hospital partner (Memorial Hermann) collected outcome data and took on the role of data management due to capacity.
- The team worked with the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) at the University of Houston to share data with residents and hosted a Community Health Summit to present findings.
- Fifty organizations with different metrics make it a challenge to measure outcomes and data.
Finance and Sustainability
- Initial funding came from BUILD ($250,000) and matched funds from Memorial Hermann, followed by ad hoc funding (BUILD Opportunity Fund Award) for past BUILD awardees.
- Without substantial financial backing, the coalition could not have established partnerships with large organizations like health departments and hospital systems.
Integration of Health Equity
- Trying to find a definition that “fits the community”
- Built into priorities
- Uses the Northline Health Equity Plan for the Northline/Northside community “to transform education, economic development, family wealth, health, housing, infrastructure, parks, community amenities, and safety in Northline—and metrics to measure success over time”
Community Trust and Accountability
- Builds deep relationships with elected officials and other partners that can build up the work
- Produces annual reports of work accomplished with convenings where the community is invited to provide feedback and recommend improvements
Measures of Success
- Health and safety measures, including: creating safe public spaces; identifying hot spots; creating policy changes; improving the built environment, such as sidewalks, truck routes, and lighting; ensuring healthy homes through assessments, remediation, and repair; and utilizing technology to collect, analyze, and share data
- Comprehensive action plan: Near Northside Quality of Agreement Plan to build a sustainable and healthy community in the Near Northside neighborhood
- Established a lead abatement project and created partnerships with local hospitals for its “Health Day Initiative”