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What We Do

The Build Healthy Places Network sits at the intersection of community development, finance, public health, and healthcare. From that unique perspective we intentionally position partnerships between these sectors to leverage community-centered investments to reduce poverty, improve health, and advance racial equity.

Since our launch in 2014, Build Healthy Places Network has been a neutral convener bringing together cross-sector partners, providing field-level thought leadership, creating and curating tools and resources, and strengthening collaboration. Through our programs and place-based advisory services, we support multi-sector partnerships that mobilize investments and build community infrastructure to more effectively reduce poverty, improve health, and advance racial equity in urban and rural communities across the country.

This strategic balance of field-level and place-based work allows us to learn from communities themselves. We identify what works well, gaps and opportunities, and use our communications platform to lift up and share widely successful approaches for advancing systems change.

We work with leading national and regional mission-driven organizations and networks across sectors as well as with local, community-based organizations in low-income and historically marginalized neighborhoods and communities of color. We care about outcomes and impact, and we value and prioritize community leadership.

Our Values: Racial Equity and Community Voice

We believe that it is important to recognize racial equity as a key driver of health and wellbeing and racism as a public health crisis.

Each institution must ask itself what role they will play in removing barriers to achieving equity and explicitly maintain race, equity, diversity and inclusion at the core of this cross-sector work. We must tackle racist and exclusionary policies and practices that perpetuate health disparities. Advancing the shared goals of racial justice is essential for cross-sector collaborations to successfully impact the root causes of the health inequities we see today in historically marginalized communities, both urban and rural.

 

We believe that paying particular attention to who has decision-making power for health investments and how decisions are made is critical.

It helps ensure that communities, especially those such as historically marginalized BIPOC communities, are the beneficiaries of community level improvements, building community resilience, and removing barriers to prosperity.

We work to connect leaders and practitioners, provide capacity-building tools to make partnerships easier, and curate examples of what works to highlight cross-sector innovation and build the evidence base for collaboration.

By joining forces, the community developers and health professionals can have a more powerful impact in improving the health and opportunity of low-income neighborhoods.

Our History

The Network builds on the work of the Healthy Communities Initiative and RWJF’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. We were founded in recognition that a national network connecting sectors and promoting and enabling cross-sector collaboration was critical for ensuring that all people have the opportunity to live healthy and rewarding lives.

Built on the Federal Reserve System’s Healthy Communities Initiative

Our work builds on the Healthy Communities Initiative, a multi-year effort led by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to deepen cross-sector collaboration. This series of conferences at regional Federal Reserve Banks around the country bring leaders from across sectors together to examine how where people live, learn, work and play affects health. Over 35 Healthy Communities conferences have been convened around the country since 2010.


Informed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America

Our work is guided by the 2014 recommendations of the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America, which called for action to “support and speed the integration of finance, health and community development to revitalize neighborhoods and improve health.”