The Pool Fellowship for Health is a professional development training opportunity for community leaders in the Lehigh Valley with the goal of increasing our local capacity to address complex social issues that impact health through cross-sector partnerships.
In 2014, The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust supported The Rider-Pool Foundation in creating the Collective Impact Fellowship Program (now called The Pool Fellowship for Health) to make measurable improvements to complex quality-of-life challenges, such as poverty, homelessness and mental health, within neighborhoods surrounding the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) in Allentown.
In 2021, The Pool Trust and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) leadership launched the Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health to take a place-based, community development approach to improving the health of communities over the long term. Now that the Institute for Health is in operation, the program will continue to be the cornerstone of our effort to strengthen community partnerships and increase the local capacity for addressing complex social issues that impact health.
The program brings together leaders from a variety of sectors – including health care, education, regional planning, human and social services and county government – for 140 hours of training and coaching. Nationally recognized faculty provide training in leadership, communication and messaging, systems change, evaluation methods and community engagement strategies.
The Pool Fellowship for Health creates a social network of trusted partners that the Institute for Health will be able to work with as we develop strategies around housing, food and nutrition, education and well-being. In addition, it creates a platform for us to engage national leaders and experts who can bring their expertise to leaders in the Lehigh Valley.
We have seen multiple examples of cross-sector leaders working together in new ways to develop creative solutions to issues. Efforts include a partnership between mental health clinicians, health care and law enforcement addressing mental health in Allentown; county drug and alcohol agencies, law enforcement and health care to address the opioid epidemic, and permanent-housing support and health care working together to address homelessness. We will continue to provide access to thought partners and mentors that can help us advance the work in the Lehigh Valley and learn from what others are doing across the country.
Meet the members of our 8th and current cohort
Tommy Acevedo, MSW, LCSW
Director of Integrated Behavioral Health Services, Valley Health Partners Community Health Center
Cheryl Arndt, PhD
Community Partnership Data Strategy Analyst, Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health
Founder and Executive Director, Cohesion
Co-founder/Artistic Director, Lehigh Valley-based Basement Poetry
Executive Director, The Century Promise
Community Liaison, Lehigh County
Chief Operations Officer, COI Energy
Vice President and Executive Director, Muhlenberg College Division of Graduate and Continuing Education
Mayor of Allentown
Chief Executive Officer and President, Community Services for Children
President and Chief Executive Officer, Allentown Art Museum
Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Against Sex Trafficking (VAST)
The Pool Fellowship for Health's goal is to increase local capacity to address complex social issues that impact health.
Over the past eight years, members of The Pool Fellowship for Health have represented the following organizations:
Allentown Art Museum
Allentown Housing Authority
Allentown Public Library
Allentown School District
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lehigh Valley
Black Heritage Association of the Lehigh Valley
Center for Disease Control
City of Allentown
Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
Communities Action Lehigh Valley
Community Bike Works
Community Services for Children, Inc.
Diocese of Allentown
Grace Montessori School
Greater Valley YMCA
James Lawson Freedom School
Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley
Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority
Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Lehigh Valley Planning Commission
Michael Baker International
North Penn Legal Services
Pinebrook Family Services
Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Ripple Community, Inc.
St. Stephen’s Outreach Center
The Baum School of Art
The Literacy Center
Think Good Leadership
Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, Inc.
Union Baptist Church
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Valley Against Sex Trafficking
Valley Health Partners
Valley Youth House
Wildlands Conservancy, Inc.