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Taryn Fort
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Colorado Health Foundation Invests $1 Million in National Award Program to Improve Community Health

DENVER, CO – The Colorado Health Foundation announced a funding commitment of $1 million to join the BUILD Health Challenge, a national partnership of The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The BUILD Health Challenge is a competitive award program aimed at fostering and supporting multi-sector collaborations of health systems, community-based organizations and local health departments working toward population health improvement.

The Colorado Health Foundation’s contribution grows the BUILD Health Challenge to an $8.5 million initiative to plan and implement collaborative health improvement projects. The additional funding allows the BUILD Health Challenge to expand its scope to support up to 17 communities across the country, including three in Colorado. Project plans must be focused on addressing the upstream determinants of health in low-income, urban neighborhoods, but the funds may be used to support a range of activities including investments in technology, staff expansion, advocacy and more.

Colorado hospitals, public health and nonprofit community organizations are encouraged to work together to create a proposal for either a BUILD Planning or Implementation Award that would help further their collaborative efforts to address a significant health challenge. The nonprofit community organization will be the lead applicant that will be responsible for submitting an application at the BUILD Health Challenge website. Applications are due by 3 p.m. (MT) on Jan. 16, 2015.

The goal of the BUILD Health Challenge is to identify and support health partnerships taking Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local and Data-driven approaches to improving health in low-income, urban communities. This aligns with the Foundation’s strategy in Health Care to support community health and in Healthy Living to create healthy communities.

Unlike many population health initiatives, the BUILD Health Challenge requires awardees to take a multi-sectoral approach by forging a partnership that includes at least one hospital or health system, the local health department and a nonprofit organization (or coalition of local nonprofit organizations) in an equal partnership. The program evolved out of a wealth of research demonstrating that up to 70% of an individual's health is determined by the interplay of physical, social and economic environments, rather than health care or genetics.

“Joining this national health initiative is a unique opportunity for Colorado communities to contribute to and learn from other innovative projects occurring across the nation,” said Kelly Dunkin, vice president of philanthropy for the Colorado Health Foundation. “This increases our state’s ability to lead in the national movement of community collaborations working to prevent disease and improve population health.”

About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.