Creating Healthy Communities
Know Who to Ask for Answers
Elevating community voices helps optimize and align systems that support community health and well-being. After all, the people impacted by the problems facing their community have some of the best solutions for driving change. Interested in partnering with communities to improve systems? Be authentic, prioritize people, give up power, and trust the process, says NICHQ Senior Project Director Kenn Harris. Read his full article here.
Support Community-Based Initiatives
We’ve seen time and again how community advocates and programs propel change that improves the health and well-being of families across their community. Below, find three examples of how community-based initiatives have made a big impact for families they serve.
- Building an early childhood coalition: In less than two years, Chelsea, Massachusetts developed a coalition that brings together 50 different agencies and organizations to support early childhood growth and development and facilitate family success.
- Strengthening from within: Sixty-two percent of children in Liberty City, Miami, live below the poverty line and many are isolated from supports. This community-based program connects families with vital resources, including career path coaching, homework assistance and transportation.
- Addressing caregiver depression: In Coös County, New Hampshire, a coalition of early childhood organizations worked to integrate caregiver depression screenings into well-child visits to better support families.
Remember, Health Starts at Home
Children across the U.S. are playing in homes contaminated by lead—either through chipped lead paint, lead in the water, or lead in toys and jewelry. Over half a million U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels, which puts them at risk for developmental delays, hearing and speech problems, and learning difficulties. Use this social media toolkit to spread the word about the risks of lead and the importance of lead screening for young children.
This month’s Creating Healthy Communities campaign is supported by Century Bank, NICHQ’s bank for nearly two decades. As New England's largest family-run bank, Century Bank shares NICHQ’s commitment to empowering communities so that all children and families can lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Be a Children's Health Change Agent
Like you, we have a shared passion for improving the health of every child in every state across the country. Join us in our mission. Take action to make a difference for children now and in the decades to come:
- Donate. Give a gift that supports NICHQ’s initiatives that touch millions of children’s lives. Every dollar raised benefits the health and well-being of children.
- Sign up. Join our network of thousands of other subscribers. We deliver resources, articles and webinars right to your inbox so that we can drive change in children’s health outcomes together.
What People Are Saying
NICHQ fosters a collaborative process, not a dictatorial process. You allow us to build success in our community and not try to push any one strategy or model on us. You guide, collaborate and share, but you don’t steer.
Working with NICHQ, I have been able to assist communities all over New York State with their breastfeeding care efforts. The NICHQ staff is experienced, organized and thorough, ensuring each interpersonal interaction is maximally engaging and productive. Because of the way change efforts are organized, I find myself learning new procedural and educational techniques, and even more about my own field! Thanks to NICHQ for including me on this interesting ride.
For me, NICHQ is uniquely positioned to support complex, system-based efforts to improve child health and healthcare, locally and on a national scale. NICHQ helped my teams succeed by supporting collaboration, information management, and continuous learning. With NICHQ's help, the whole of our work was much greater than the sum of each of our individual efforts!
Participation in this project has uncovered new desires for me personally, and for our hospital and community. We are making progress in the little and big things, and changing the way a baby is welcomed into the world step by step. I am so thankful for the Best Fed Beginnings team, the opportunity to gain insight from other hospitals, and the chance to serve with my local hospital. With the drive of this collaborative, we can change the health of our world, one baby at a time.
I'm passionate about early identification and connection to services and supports for children and families because we know acting early makes a difference. When I learned that the ECCS CoIIN leverages collaboration, innovation and quality improvement methods to improve early childhood systems, I was thrilled to get involved. There is a great focus on parent engagement too, so I was really happy to join the team and be a part of this great work.
Being involved with NICHQ has been a career-changing and life-altering experience in many ways. Quality improvement methodology is not additive to my work, it influences how I do my daily work.
Participating in NICHQ's Improving Children's Vision project has facilitated a rich opportunity to pursue robust quality improvement strategies to enhance early childhood vision health in Wyoming. [We] appreciate the expertise provided by the leadership team and the opportunity to share ideas and feedback with other states in the Collaboratory.
I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed and learned from all of you at NICHQ. You are enthusiastic, supportive, smart and FUN. You have talked me off the ledge many times when I wanted to quit. You are true leaders and passionate about what you do.
Being a parent partner for NICHQ ...has been a pure honor. I would encourage anyone that has the opportunity to work on a NICHQ project to take advantage of it. Working with them has opened many doors for me in the medical field.
NICHQ has really supported our work by formalizing a process to do PDSA cycles, report and track how our progress is doing. As a data person, CoLab has been really instrumental in terms of gathering the data and tracking it over time.