Health Challenge

Lehigh Valley-Based Health and Education Services Launch New Collaborative

June 6, 2023

New collaborative is selected as a participant in The BUILD Health Challenge®

The Allentown Health Bureau, Community Services for Children, Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health, Pool Center for Health Analytics and Valley Health Partners are proud to announce a new collaborative that aims to create an equitable early learning environment for young children in Allentown and particularly in the Franklin Park neighborhood. The partners are committed to working together in new and innovative ways to integrate and reduce barriers to services that families rely on with the goal of supporting healthy early development.

Additionally, this collaborative is proud to announce its selection to participate in the fourth cohort of a national program, The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD).

“The BUILD Health Challenge goal of improving health for all through cross-sector, upstream and community driven approaches aligns with the work of the Leonard Parker Poole Institute for Health and one of our other signature initatives, the Pool Fellowship for Health. We are grateful to be selected as part of this national program which will provide technical assistance to partners and will offer best practices from participating cities. -  Edward Meehan, Executive Director, Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health

Launched in 2015, BUILD addresses the root causes of our most pressing health challenges by changing the conditions in our society, environment and policies that impact health and well-being at the population level. While access to care remains a critical issue in the U.S., it is only a small piece of the puzzle when addressing health disparities and long-term well-being of a community. BUILD invests in community-centered, multi-sector partnerships that strive to ensure that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy.

Allentown is among 13 new communities throughout the United States in BUILD’s fourth cohort that will receive support to advance health equity over the next three years. Other communities in this cohort of BUILD include San Antonio, St. Louis and Durham, N.C.

“BUILD communities are working to level the playing field,” said Melissa Monbouquette, Executive Director of BUILD. “Health disparities across the country have been caused or exacerbated by systemic racism and disinvestment; no organization or sector can address all of the interlocking drivers of health inequity alone. True health transformation requires a shared responsibility to move these systems of oppression and neglect toward justice and universal well-being.”