Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Selected to Participate in Nationwide ‘BUILD Health Challenge'

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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living has been selected by a coalition of 12 funding organizations to participate in the BUILD Health Challenge, a national program that puts multi-sector community partnerships at the foundation of improving health for everyone. The Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living will focus on improving asthma outcomes related to unhealthy housing in five neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. 

CHOP is one of 19 organizations and communities selected to participate. BUILD awards funding, capacity-building support, and access to a national peer-learning network. The program emphasizes cross-sector collaboration among local nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and public health departments to address upstream conditions that create opportunities for better health. BUILD selected CHOP’s Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living because of its Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven (BUILD) ideas to improve the health of its residents.

Facilitated by the Philadelphia Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), the Home Preservation Initiative brings together CHOP, its Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP), the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health and two community-based partners: Mount Vernon Manor CDC and People’s Emergency Center.  Additionally, PolicyLab, an independent research center at CHOP, will provide research assistance to the group. These organizations will work collaboratively, with guidance from BUILD advisors, to identify and implement innovative solutions to community challenges. Matching funds from CHOP, combined with BUILD’s $250,000 two-year grant, will further extend the partnership’s capacity to reduce the burden of unhealthy housing on the well-being of West Philadelphia’s youth with the diagnosis of asthma.

Asthma is the most common chronic condition among our nation’s youth, and is especially prevalent in West Philadelphia where an estimated 25 percent of the neighborhood’s youth have the disease. In 2015 alone, CHOP, located in West Philadelphia, recorded more than 3,100 asthma-related emergency room visits and more than 1,300 asthma-related hospitalizations. This partnership will aim to reduce these numbers by mobilizing CHOP community health workers, who will visit family homes to conduct home assessments for asthma triggers, provide supplies for simple reduction in these exposures, and coordinate care. Home owners will be further connected with resources to make significant renovations to reduce exposure to moisture and pests. 

"In the past 20 years of working with families in West Philadelphia, I have become more convinced that asthma disparities and poor housing are closely related,” said Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, Medical Director of CAPP at CHOP. “By partnering with Rebuilding Together America and Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, this exciting initiative allows us to put significant effort towards ensuring houses in this neighborhood are completely ‘asthma friendly.’ I hope it can serve as a model for the rest of the city."

“Every community faces its own set of challenges and opportunities when it comes to improving the health of its residents,” said Emily Yu, executive director of the BUILD Health Challenge. “With this award, we hope to catalyze the work of CHOP’s Home Preservation Initiative for Healthy Living and bring together residents and organizations from across sectors to address the root causes of health issues in Philadelphia — and ultimately transform how we think about health in America.”

BUILD seeks to create a new norm in the U.S. by addressing upstream factors affecting health. It is supported by a unique collaborative of local and national funders, which includes the Advisory Board Company, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, The Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, The Kresge Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

For more information, visit or follow at @BUILD_Health

Contributed by: Lauren Walens, Communications Manager, PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or 267-425-1498.