Technical Assistance and Capacity Building to Advance Health and Vitality via Collective Social Impact in New York
Building Healthy Communities
July 20, 2015
People living in less-developed communities face barriers to health and wellness needs. For example, resident are less likely to seek out health services and programs in their neighborhood if they are not connected to them.
CommunityRx is a system managed by the University of Chicago that serves as a connection resource between people and the health resources in their community. Through HealtheRx, the online resource database, and MAPSCorps, a youth employment training program that produces the data on HealtheRx, CommunityRx is a complete social impact model. It strengthens communities by helping residents find and use local services and programs for their health and wellness needs. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded a grant to the University of Chicago to provide technical assistance (TA) to all six communities participating in the Healthy Neighborhood Fund to replicate CommunityRx.
Under this grant, the University of Chicago provided TA to Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees to expand CommunityRx through the MAPSCorps model. MAPSCorps pairs high school students with science-oriented college students to produce data about community resources for the HealtheRx database. Specifically, the University of Chicago demonstrated the feasibility of deploying the MAPSCorps model in East Harlem and the Bronx in 2015. These outcomes were evaluated and used to provide TA to the six Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantees to help them implement MAPSCorps in their communities in 2016. The TA provided included distribution of a MAPSCorps guidebook, support for the necessary infrastructure for new MAPSCorps sites, help with site preparations, and engagement of key stakeholders and sponsors. Lastly, the University of Chicago worked to define and test the long-term sustainability of CommunityRx in these communities.