Students making a dish in a cooking class

Community Health Builders: Greensboro

A “train the trainer” paradigm that localizes national insights.

Community Health Builders is a bi-directional program that connects local community leaders with national experts and resources. Considering that 80% of a person’s health outcomes are driven by their social determinants of health1, the goal of CHBs is to empower local leaders to improve these social determinants for underrepresented populations in their community. Addressing social determinants of health is a primary approach to achieving health equity2.

The MWKF first piloted this concept in Greensboro, North Carolina. We met with our existing partners in the region, and they invited their community partners who invited their community partners. Soon the Greensboro Builders cohort included clinicians, faith leaders, sororities, college leadership, residents, students, community development corporations, doulas, small business owners, and staff from family support organizations, housing programs, and workforce development.

We assembled for a community health needs roundtable to review current needs assessments and prioritize our areas for collaboration. The group selected four topics: safe and affordable housing, access to healthy food, health insurance and health literacy, and access to care. An Accelerator Forum for each topic was planned and experts in these areas were brought in to facilitate a conversation about the overall issue, and how it can be addressed in Greensboro.

As a culmination of the formal programming, the group hosts a family health and wellness fair to share learnings and new resources with the wider community. This event includes health and SDOH screenings, wellness education, resource referrals, and family fun. It is intended to regularly repeat with continued support from the MWKF.

As we bring this programming to cities around the country, we are building a network of trustmakers who continue the work in their community, as well as serving as local health experts for future efforts. The Make Well Known Foundation serves as a conduit to share future opportunities and resources with past and future Community Health Builder partners. Following our 2022 successful pilot in Greensboro, we then brought the program to Tampa, Florida in 2023 (see news highlight here ), and it is now underway in Atlanta, Georgia with the goal of reaching at least six more communities.


Related insights

The Growing Importance of Social Determinants of Health

Blurring racial and ethnic categories make macro-level drivers a more important focus than ever before.

Authors: Judy Greener, Jessica Seyfried

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