If We Build It, We Will Come: A Model for Community-Led Change to Transform Neighborhood Conditions to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living

Publication | June 10 2015

Neighborhoods affect health. In 3 adjoining inner-city Cleveland, Ohio, neighborhoods, residents have an average life expectancy 15 years less than that of a nearby suburb. To address this disparity, a local health funder created the 2010 to 2013 Francis H. Beam Community Health Fellowship to develop a strategic community engagement process to establish a Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) culture and lifestyle in the neighborhoods. The fellow developed and advanced a model, engaging the community in establishing HEAL options and culture.  Residents used the model to identify a shared vision for HEAL and collaborated with community partners to create and sustain innovative HEAL opportunities. This community-led, collaborative model produced high engagement levels (15% of targeted 12,000 residents) and tangible improvements in the neighborhood’s physical, resource, and social environments.  Full Field Report (here)