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A Year In Review: Top 5 Highlights from Build Healthy Places Network

Written by Colleen Flynn & Ruth Thomas-Squance on December 22, 2023

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Is it just us? Or did 2023 go by at lightning speed?

High time then, to take a breath and pause as we find ourselves celebrating the end of our first year in co-executive leadership at Build Healthy Places Network. With much to reflect on, much learned and plenty to celebrate, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some highlights from our team and their remarkable work.

Earlier in the year, we developed a three-year roadmap for BHPN, as we continue to ‘respect our past and disrupt our future.’ The roadmap outlines how we will persist in our promotion of collaboration across the healthcare, public health and community development sectors to more effectively co-invest in neighborhood revitalization. It seeks to build on our strengths while embracing our commitments to join the nationwide efforts seeking to redress structural racism and tackle the root causes of health inequities through upstream community investments.

The ‘Three Ps’ approach of the roadmap embodies the strengths and reputation BHPN has built over the last decade.

Partnerships: Serving as thought partners to national organizations across sectors, emphasizing the critical role of inclusive approaches and community-led models for co-investment.

Platform: Utilizing our robust communications platform to elevate community innovation and build institutional capacity to advance multisector partnerships.

Process: Embracing reflection and accountability to our partners and the field and creating opportunities for feedback and continuous improvement on our resources, their impact and adaptation by practitioners.

The tools, resources and partnerships created this year lean into our shared values around fairness, prosperity and opportunity, and our continued journey as we seek to learn from communities.

Here are five highlights we wanted to share: 

  • In July we completed projects in Wisconsin and West Virginia focused on centering equity throughout the policy process to support local multisector community health efforts and published the Equitable Policy Processes for Multisector Health Efforts  tool with insights from these partnerships. 


  • During Native American Heritage month, we shared some of the stories we had highlighted this year to lift up cross-sector collaborations that support community investment into Native and Tribal communities. 
  • It was exciting to have so many of you join our webinars, with over 1200 registered for our two Network Commons to learn about shifting power to communities through community-driven data and community-led racial healing models. We look forward to sharing more topics to inspire your work in 2024!

None of this work would be possible without our talented and dedicated team at BHPN. 

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to working with you in the new year!

In partnership,

Ruth & Colleen

Colleen Flynn and Ruth Thomas-Squance are Co-Executive Directors at Build Healthy Places Network.