Building Healthy Communities (BHC)

BHC logo

Funded by The California Endowment (TCE), Building Healthy Communities (BHC) is a ten-year, place-based initiative designed to develop a collaborative structure with residents, community-based organizations, and government leaders. The initiative takes a systems level approach to improve community health in Central/West Long Beach, one of 14 communities in California selected by TCE.

BHC members posing and cheering

The Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) serves as the Learning and Evaluation (L&E) Team and is responsible for implementing cross-site and local evaluation activities. These activities include developing the local evaluation plan and data collection instruments; collecting quantitative and qualitative data to assess BHCLB’s impact; analyzing and disseminating BHCLB data and findings; attending BHCLB-related events and meetings; determining research and evaluation training needs among BHCLB partners and TCE grantees and providing technical assistance accordingly; coordinating support for local training on research and evaluation; providing ongoing feedback to BHCLB on evaluation findings; working with BHCLB staff members to analyze and interpret findings; and preparing annual evaluation reports.

BHC youth speaking about voting

To ensure that L&E activities are in line with BHCLB efforts, CHER convened an L&E Committee consisting of BHCLB partners and agency representatives. Feedback from L&E Committee members help to ensure that these activities produce meaningful data that can be used to advance BHCLB efforts. L&E Committee meetings serve as a forum to discuss new and upcoming evaluation activities, and to request feedback on how these activities can be most appropriately implemented. 

Notable evaluation activities:

Resident Power Survey: A locally-developed survey was administered to BHCLB-affiliated community residents to assess perceptions of resident power and to assess level of engagement. The survey was developed in consultation with other BHCLB staff, BHCLB partner organizations, and community residents, and focused on three core elements of resident power: 1)  resident involvement, 2) leadership development, and 3) resident influence. A total of 443 residents completed the Resident Power Survey across three waves of data collection, 77 in 2013, 211 in 2015, and 155 in 2018. The Resident Power Survey is the first of its kind to assess resident power building and leadership development within a large-scale initiative. 

BHC speakers at rally on Prop 47

Eight abstracts on CHER’s BHCLB-related activities have been accepted by the American Public Health Association (APHA) and presented at its annual meetings. 

BHC members hold up completion certificates

- Assessing Collaborative Efficacy of an Environmental Health Workgroup to Improve Group Functioning (oral presentation)
- Engaging the Community in a Learning Framework: Highlights from a Place-Based Building Healthy Communities Initiative (poster presentation)
- Evaluating Resident Power as a Driver of Place-Based Social and Policy Change in California (roundtable presentation)
- Long Beach Language Access Coalition:  Advocacy, Community Organizing, and Policy Wins (oral presentation)
- Residents’ Perceptions of Their Influence in Guiding a Large-Scale Place-Based Health Collaborative (oral presentation)
- A Community-led Effort to Increase Open Space for Park-poor Residents in Central Long Beach, CA (poster presentation)
- Green Zones: A Community-led Effort to Reduce Cumulative Environmental Impacts in Long Beach, CA (poster presentation)
- A Community-led Effort to Increase Food Access and Improve Economic Development through Urban Agriculture (poster presentation)

BHC members in group hug 2013