Partners in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District receive national grant award for health and housing innovation

June 12, 2015
A community-based effort led by InterIm Community Development Association (InterIm CDA), Public Health - Seattle & King County, and Swedish was awarded a national grant designed to support community collaborations to give everyone a fair chance to be healthy.

The national BUILD Health Challenge grant will fund efforts to develop and deepen bonds and working relationships among neighborhood-based partners, the health care sector and local public health. The $75,000 grant will bring partners together to focus on the underlying conditions that impact health in the Seattle neighborhood of Chinatown/International District.

The Chinatown-International District is currently home to about 3,500 people and is celebrated as the historic and cultural hub for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the first American home for successive waves of immigrants since Seattle’s founding. There are more than 500 businesses employing over 8,000 people. At the same time, more of its residents are living in poverty and have poor health conditions than in other neighborhoods in Seattle. Thirty-four percent of residents live at or below the poverty level; many are low-income seniors (25% are over 65 and 42% are over 55). More young families have recently moved into the neighborhood; the number of children under age five has increased 64% since 2010.

The BUILD Health funding identifies local solutions that focus on housing, transportation, public safety and healthy food to address high rates of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, diabetes, and smoking seen in neighborhoods like Chinatown-International District.

“Since our founding, Swedish has been resolved to improve the health of the region beyond traditional patient care. This translates into our commitment to charity care, research, community health and education,” said Tom Gibbon, Manager of Community Health Programs at Swedish. “Through this collaboration, we hope to apply strategies that have proven effective with other Swedish community programs and will work with our local partners to bring together clinical care, public health and community services in a coherent strategy to help meet community needs.”

Together, partner organizations will convene agencies across service systems; engage residents, property owners and businesses; improve health and wellbeing by addressing the barriers faced by immigrants from many places living in the same area; collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data; and measure and evaluate progress.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded to encourage community partnerships among local non-profit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments to improve the health and well-being of their residents. For more information, visit Interim CDA.