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Cleveland partnership selected to participate in nationwide 'BUILD Health Challenge'

Two-year grant brings together community organizations to healthy housing

The MetroHealth System is part of a Cleveland partnership chosen to participate in the nationwide “Build Health Challenge.” The Cleveland Healthy Home Data Collaborative (CHHDC) 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 Cleveland-specific project will focus on neighborhood community engagement that enables physicians, public health officials, and the public to easily access collaborative, useful information to address health disparities – with a focus on asthma and lead poisoning.

CHHDC is one of 19 projects 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 non-profit organizations, hospitals, and public health departments to address upstream conditions that create opportunities for better health. BUILD selected CHHDC because of its Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven (BUILD) ideas to improve the health of its residents.

CHHDC is comprised of Environmental Health Watch, The MetroHealth System, University Hospitals, and the City of Cleveland Department of Public Health. These organizations will work together, with guidance from BUILD advisors, to identify and implement innovative solutions to community challenges. Matching funds from MetroHealth and UH, combined with BUILD’s $250,000 two-year grant, will further extend the partnership’s capacity to help create safer, healthier housing throughout Cleveland.

This project forges a new network in which health and housing groups can affect policy and environment problems in Cleveland. Expected impacts include: increased use of healthy home data; support of healthy housing policy; ability for public health officials to target resources; and code enforcement to areas of greatest need.

“This is a remarkable collaboration among health care entities in the city of Cleveland,” said Adam Perzynski, director of the patient-centered media lab and co-director of population health in the Center for Healthcare Research and Policy at MetroHealth. “We are all doing this for the sake of improving the health of people in Cleveland.” Perzynski is tasked with coordinating the creation of an app that will bring information that will show how healthy a property is and share that information with patients and hospitals in the community.

“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 The Cleveland Healthy Home Data Collaborative and bring together residents and organizations from across sectors to address the root causes of health issues in Cleveland – 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, 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.

About the MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit