Building Healthy Communities
In 2002, residents from Cleveland's downtown neighborhoods embraced a program to improve good health and growth in their lives, neighborhoods and community. This effort, known as Building Healthy Communities, started when St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and several partners commissioned a community health survey to provide a broad view of the needs of the Central Neighborhood, where the hospital is located. The results were shared with community residents, leaders and agency service providers, and then experienced facilitators helped residents form conclusions about community priorities during "town hall" style meetings. Attendees responded enthusiastically to this process, during which action teams were established to address residents' most significant daily living concerns, among them the high incidence of cancer among the local African American population and the effect of illegal drugs on our children.
Since then, Building Healthy Communities staff members have been working in collaboration with residents and service organizations to extend education and practical tools to Central Neighborhood.
Building Healthy Communities and its broad network of neighborhood partners motivate residents to work together with local organizations for positive change, good health and growth in their own lives, their neighborhoods, and the community through numerous programs, efforts and events.
Programming for all ages includes annual health fairs, Great American Smoke Out events, National Nutrition Month events, health-related Red Hat Society programming, youth employment opportunities, nutrition training and exercise classes, E.M.B.R.A.C.E. (Embracing African Cultural Experiences) events, MyCom after-school activities, and the Garden Boyz urban farm project, which has received support from Reimagining Cleveland.
Building Healthy Communities also presents opportunities for local residents to participate in and advocate for programs related to community diversion and delinquency avoidance. And, it includes leadership training and opportunities to help increase the neighborhood's voter registration, voter participation and understanding of government issues.
Today, the program continues as a grassroots collaboration that supports and empowers residents to address quality of life concerns. It has had a positive effect on hundreds of residents in the Central Neighborhood by providing a vision of what can be, as well as a vehicle for achieving the vision. Major sponsors of the Building Healthy Communities program include Arbor Park Village, Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Tri-C Metro Campus, Sisters of Charity Health System and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
Building Healthy Communities
2475 East 22nd Street
Cleveland, OH 44115