InterIm Community Development Association is leading health action planning for the International District, funded by the BUILD Health Challenge. This grant-funded project is facilitating a new partnership among InterIm, Public Health | Seattle and King County  and Swedish Medical Center. Other partners including International Community Health Services, YCC, and  local services organizations. InterIm CDA is one of 11 planning grantees across the United States.

Valerie Tran

Valerie Tran, BUILD Health Challenge project coordinator

Valerie Tran has been hired by InterIm CDA to staff this effort. She has organized seven community engagement meetings scheduled from  November into January as part of the listening and learning phase of the project.

BUILD Health Challenge is a program founded by a consortium of foundations interested in promoting Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local and Data-driven approaches to address the social and environmental factors that have the greatest impact on health.

Local partners, led by InterIm, are engaging in a three-pronged approach to the challenge:

  1. Community engagement consists of community dialogue meetings, key informant interviews, and a public safety survey. The project team intends to engage a broad spectrum of the community, including youth, elders, families, businesses and community organizations.
  2. Data analysis will examine and synthesize public health data, housing, transportation and environment data in an effort to uncover the physical and social factors that combine to determine the health of people living in the Chinatown-International District. Physical determinants being examined include housing and transportation, environment and environmental design. Social determinants include economic development, access to information and resources and civic engagement.
  3. Community voice will provide context and background for public health and built environment data, helping to prioritize health concerns and guide the programs and policies that neighborhood residents will support and advocate for.

Tran elaborated recently on the process: “Through our community engagement process, we are uncovering the social and physical root causes that drive the illnesses, injuries and challenges we see in existing public health and environmental data. By raising the community’s voice and supporting it with existing data, we have the potential to develop a culturally relevant and evidence-based health action plan to improve the health and well being of the Chinatown/International District neighborhood.”

According to Tran, “We expect to complete the plan in mid-2016, at which time we will be in a strong position to receive funding from BUILD Health to implement the plan over the following year.”