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Our Initiatives We advance community-based solutions through cross-sector partnerships in historically marginalized, disinvested low-income communities that are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We partner with community development, health, local government, and advocacy organizations to build community power, implement health and racial equity frameworks and catalyze neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Healthy Neighborhood Investments

Healthy Neighborhood Investments, a Build Healthy Places Network initiative funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation, promotes community development and healthcare partnerships as the go-to sustainable model in California for addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) and advancing health and racial equity in historically marginalized communities.

Healthy Neighborhood Investments is helping us better understand barriers to collaboration, tailor our technical assistance based on what we learn, and work to embed capacity within local organizations to address those barriers. The program includes projects in three California communities where both sectors are investing in SDOH such as service-enriched affordable housing, grocery stores in food deserts, and childcare facilities. We are also developing a policy scan in partnership with Shift Health Accelerator of federal, state and local policies that influence cross-sector partnerships between community development and healthcare.


Coachella Valley: Coachella Valley Housing Coalition and Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Fresno: Fresno Community and Economic Development Partnership

Stockton: Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and Low Income Investment Fund

Technical Assistance: Center to Advance Community Health & Equity

Policy Scan Support: Shift Health Accelerator

Healthy Neighborhood Investments: What We’ve Learned to Date (link)

Community Innovations

In November 2019, Build Healthy Places Network (the Network), with funding from The Kresge Foundation, launched Community Innovations to deepen outreach to and learn from local community development organizations that serve low-income communities and people of color.

Community Innovations has a three-pronged goal: to enhance the Network’s understanding of how best to support local organizations’ cross-sector reports; to connect local organizations to other peer organizations and the larger national dialogue, resources, and tools; and to embed capacity within organizations to undertake health strategies and engage with healthcare.

When we closed the RFP in April, we had received over 80 proposals. We were inspired and encouraged to see so many incredible organizations doing important work to address the social determinants of health and advance equity. Each proposal was carefully reviewed against an evaluation rubric that was based on the Principles for Building Health and Prosperous Communities, and finalists were reviewed by members of the Advisory Committee (list included below). After a rigorous evaluation process and with much deliberation, we awarded five proposals, in part to ensure adequate resources to awardees to carry out the work. This was certainly not an easy decision, there were many excellent proposals. We are eager to figure out future opportunities to continue work with more community development corporations committed to improving health and well being.

Community Innovation Awardee Cohort

We are excited to introduce the awardee cohort for Community Innovations. The awards include $30,000 in funds plus in-kind technical assistance from the Network valued at $60,000 to support healthcare collaboration. As part of this opportunity, awardees have the option of working with one of the recently trained consultants to support the implementation of a health strategy.


List of Awardees:


Portland, OR


Minneapolis, MN


Louisville, KY


San Diego, CA


Gulfport, MS

Community Innovations Advisory Commitee

Alex Wiggins

Senior Community Development Advisor, Purpose Built Communities

Carla Taylor

Director, Community Wealth Partners

Deborah Roseman

Principal Project Specialist, America’s Essential Hospitals

Dora Barilla

Vice President, Community Health Investment, Providence St. Joseph Health

Frank Woodruff

Executive Director, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations

Katie Byerly

Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation

Julia Ryan

Vice President, Health Initiatives, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Michele Silver

Senior Associate, Policy Link

Romi Hall

Director of Healthy Homes and Communities, NeighborWorks America

Pedro Cons

EVP, Integrated Health & Human Services, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Our Services We provide technical assistance to health and community development organizations to build healthy communities together.

Our Services

Landscape / Market Analysis

Mapping, connecting to, and building on existing cross-sector initiatives that address systemic racism in historically disinvested communities and advance health equity

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Customized case-making to provide organizations with the messaging, language, and knowledge needed to engage with other sectors to advance racial and health equity

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Brokering Connections

Fostering and managing meaningful connections between community development, healthcare and public health organizations that are mission-aligned

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Convening and providing training to community development and health leaders for project development and co-investment to improve health and racial equity

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Landscape/Market Analysis

Analysis tailored to identify potential health and/or community partners, initiatives, priorities, pain points, and investment history.

We produce race-conscious analyses for health systems, CDFIs, local CDCs, and health foundations, which they then use to successfully clarify and prioritize partnership opportunities that advance health and racial equity. Partnerships will be equipped to identify locations for investment, translate language barriers to more effectively engage across sectors, and focus investment strategies based on historical disinvestment, aligned goals, existing efforts and community priorities.


We produce pitch decks and custom “leave behind” resources that speak to a specific potential partner’s investment priorities and history, helping to secure new funding for local projects as well as advocacy support for comprehensive community development.


We help foster and manage meaningful connections between community development and healthcare organizations that are mission-aligned.

Brokering Connections

We curate conversations to foster collaboration on a specific fund or project or in a specific location with the goal of mapping out an action plan for project development and investment.

Relationship Management

We coordinate strategic introductions (through warm hand-offs, virtual meetings, or in-person conversations), plan and participate in meetings and calls, review/revise materials and talking points to facilitate conversation, and serve as a moderator and translator to ensure ongoing successful communication. Playing this key role on behalf of CDFIs, CDCs, and health systems has brought new investments to the table and fostered new advocacy partnerships that address social determinants of health.


We train community development teams on effective health engagement strategies and racial equity approaches (drawing from the Healthcare Playbook for Community Developers) and healthcare teams on the utility and best use of community development, its resources, expertise and investments including risk/return profiles.

Our trainings have allowed Community Development Financial Institutions to outsource baseline knowledge-building for interested healthcare investors and informed healthcare investors’ decisions to invest in community development funds or projects.