Sep 6, 2016

Addressing Healthcare’s Blindside in Albuquerque’s Southside by Joining Forces

Joining Forces grantee and Network Commons speaker, Michelle Melendez of First Choice Community Healthcare, explains how partnering with CDFIs can help a FQHC achieve it’s health equity goals.

The BUILD Health Challenge initiative stands apart from typical health grants for many reasons. It focuses on the non-medical factors that influence health . It puts community organizations in the driver’s seat of complex partnerships. But most of all, it recognizes that creating healthy communities often requires hard capital, not just program support. As a non-profit health care system with a vision for building a $22 million “wellness ecosystem,” we need the capital. The BUILD Health Challenge introduced us to the world of Community Development Financial Institutions and New Market Tax Credits. Our BUILD project, Addressing Healthcare’s Blindside in Albuquerque’s Southside, has always been about equipping healthcare providers and patients with tools to support health. This includes a referral and tracking system to connect patients to existing chronic disease self-management resources, such as healthy food and walking trails. But the existing resources are not enough. Our communities are food deserts and lack facilities and infrastructure. We need community development .