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Subject: NPT

Renaissance West Community Initiative Receives National BUILD Health Challenge Grant

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building Uplifted Families, a community collaboration between Renaissance West Community Initiative, Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System, UNC Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County Public Health, has been awarded a $250,000 BUILD Health Challenge grant to improve the health and overall well-being of Renaissance West residents and neighbors along Charlotte's West Boulevard corridor.       

This BUILD Health Challenge grant, with matching funds from Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System, will be led by William "Mack" McDonald, chief executive officer of the Renaissance West Community Initiative, Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, senior vice president for community wellness & education at Novant Health, Dr. Alisahah Cole, system medical director for community health at Carolinas HealthCare System, and Dr. Michael Dulin, director of The Academy for Population Health Innovation.

"Renaissance West Community Initiative is excited to work alongside Carolinas HealthCare System, Novant Health, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, and other community partners to bring this transformative approach to community revitalization," says McDonald. "Building Uplifted Families will allow us to reach more children and families as they work to improve their situations and prospects for future success. This is truly a life changer for so many of our neighbors."

Over the course of the two-year grant period, this partnership will focus on bettering the lives of Renaissance West families by addressing health disparities and improving access to preventive healthcare.  Additionally, resources will be directed towards tackling social determinants that have a direct impact on the health of this community. These include access to grocery stores and nutritious food; educational opportunities and job training; transportation; and developing holistic solutions that improve overall quality of life.

Despite recent economic growth in the Charlotte region, a 2014 Harvard and University of California Berkeley study found that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County ranked 50th out of the 50 in economic upward mobility. This finding highlights the serious challenges that many of Charlotte's residents face daily.

"We're focused on neighborhoods where fundamental questions of equal access to jobs, quality schools and healthcare are top of mind." said Gene Woods, President and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System. "We aspire to be better by working together to foster a thriving community where everyone has an opportunity to reach their highest potential for health, in the broadest sense of the word. Our collective aspiration for Charlotte is to be the national example for how a city can think differently and challenge social and economic issues in new and collaborative ways."

"I am a firm believer that no single sector of the community is able to tackle the barriers to health alone," said Carl Armato, president and chief executive officer of Novant Health. "Building Uplifted Families is an exciting example of a cross-sector collaboration focused on addressing the root causes of disparities in order to build a culture of health."   

Building Uplifted Families is one of 19 community projects in 12 states selected to participate in the BUILD Health Challenge, a national program that supports community collaborations that are Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven projects addressing upstream factors affecting health. The BUILD Health Challenge grant provides funding, capacity building support, and access to a national peer learning network to enhance collaborative partnerships.  

The BUILD Health Challenge is supported by a unique collaborative of local and national funders, which includes the Advisory Board, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Episcopal Health Foundation, Interact for Health, The Kresge Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Telligen Community Initiative, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

About Renaissance West Community Initiative:

Renaissance West Community Initiative (RWCI) is a nonprofit organization leading the revitalization of the former Boulevard Homes public housing site into a vibrant village called The Renaissance. The initiative uses a holistic community redevelopment approach and works with a coalition of community partners focusing on multiple critical factors including mixed-income housing, educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, health and wellness services and commercial investment. RWCI is responsible for developing, coordinating, and evaluating a comprehensive array of services and supports, such as health care, out?of-school-time programs, and workplace skills development to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Renaissance West Community Initiative was formed in the fall of 2012 through a collaboration of community leaders, the Charlotte Housing Authority and other public and private partners.  It is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors. For more information, please visit www.rwci.org and follow us on Twitter @_RWCI . 

About Novant Health
Novant Health is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to communities in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Named in 2016 by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the nation's 150 best places to work in healthcare, Novant Health network consists of more than 1,500 physicians and over 26,000 employees that provide care at over 470 locations, including 14 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the health system serves more than 4.4 million patients annually and in 2016 provided more than $725.5 million in community benefit, including charity care and services. Diversity MBA has recognized the organization as one of the 50 best places for women and managers of diverse background to work and SK&A ranks Novant Health among the top 25 integrated health systems in the nation. Novant Health provides care in Virginia under the joint operating company, Novant Health UVA Health System.

For more information, please visit our website at NovantHealth.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation's leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives. You can also follow us @Carolinas and on Facebook.

About the Academy for Population Health Innovation (APHI)
The Academy for Population Health Innovation (sites.uncc.edu/aphi/), is a partnership founded by The UNC Charlotte College of Health and Human Services and Mecklenburg County Public Health. APHI is designed to enhance public health for the Charlotte community by utilizing academic resources (including faculty, students, and data management capabilities) to address our community's most important health needs.  The APHI vision is to make Charlotte the healthiest community in the U.S.


SOURCE Carolinas HealthCare System

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