$8.5 Million Philanthropy Project Includes San Antonio

San Antonio, TX (May 23, 2023) – Today, The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) announced its fourth cohort of awardees, including 13 new communities throughout the U.S., that will receive a total of $8.5 million in funding and resources to advance health equity over the next 3 years.  Methodist Healthcare Ministries has been a philanthropic partner of BUILD Health since the third cohort was launched in 2019.

San Antonio is one of the communities included in this cohort through the Bridges to Care San Antonio (BTCSA) collaborative. BTCSA is working to create “more welcoming, inclusive, supportive and engaged communities so people learn to identify mental health issues and find a therapeutic community that can help prevent a mental health crisis and can build their resilience.” Click here to read more about this coalition.

Launched in 2015, BUILD addresses the root causes of communities’ 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.

 “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 towards justice and universal well-being.”

“Methodist Healthcare Ministries is proud to support The BUILD Health Challenge and bring much needed attention and investment to South Texas,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. “We congratulate the Bridges to Care San Antonio collaborative and all the contributing partners in San Antonio for creating a strong program that will work to improve the mental and behavioral health of communities in Bexar County.”

BUILD is excited to fund collaboratives that are addressing critical issues such as healthy housing, food security, the built environment, and mental health through an equity- and justice-driven lens. Each community-based collaborative is backed by a local health department, and a hospital or health plan that provides monetary and/or in-kind support to the project, collectively adding more than $4 million to the overall award total.

  The thirteen selected projects and communities are:

  • A Resident-Led Economic Opportunity Initiative to Improve Health Equity – Economic opportunity [Muskegon Heights, MI]
  • Addressing Trauma in Foreign-Born Communities through Mental and Behavioral Health – Mental and behavioral health, immigration [St. Louis, MO]
  • Bridges to Care San Antonio – Mental and behavioral health [San Antonio, TX]
  • BUILD Payette – Healthy housing [Payette, ID]
  • Building a Healthier Cincinnati – Maternal and child health, economic opportunity [Cincinnati, OH]
  • Built Environment Work Group of South King County – Built environment, transportation [Seattle, WA]
  • From the Ground Up: Building Health for Allentown children by Improving Early Childhood Development – Child health [Allentown, PA]
  • Improving Health and Development through Access to Childcare Initiative – Child health [Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ]
  • Race, Food, and Justice: Resident-Led Change to Support a Sustainable Food System – Food access [Cleveland, OH]
  • San Diego Refugee Communities Health through Housing (HTH) Project – Healthy housing, immigration [San Diego, CA]
  • San Joaquin County Transforming Communities for Healing – Mental and behavioral health [Stockton, CA]
  • WHOLE Schools Movement – Mental and behavioral health, child health [Durham, NC]
  • Working Towards an Equitable Health Landscape: Food is Medicine – Food access [Boone, NC]

The partnerships in Cleveland and Cincinnati are returning BUILD awardees, leveraging the momentum of their previous BUILD award and their long-term commitment to advancing resident leadership and justice in their communities.

“Since BUILD’s launch in 2015, we’ve been in awe of how the movement for community-centered health initiatives has grown across the country and the collective impact of these partnerships,” said Monbouquette. “By supporting capacity building, amplifying community voice, and sharing the stories of what works, BUILD communities are demonstrating what the future of equitable community health practice looks like.”

The first three cohorts of BUILD included 55 initiatives across 25 states. To date, the awardees’ efforts have yielded promising policy changes and community health solutions, including local regulations ensuring access to clean water; creating publicly accessible databases to identify neighborhood-level trends; abolishing food deserts by creating sustainable food enterprises; and creating new organizational structures that center community voice in decision making.

BUILD is proud to acknowledge the invaluable support of the philanthropic partnership that guides this effort. This collaboration blends national perspective with issue-specific and regional expertise, and aims to inspire similar teamwork among organizations at the local level. The Fourth Cohort is made possible with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Leonard Parker Pool Institute for Health, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, Missouri Foundation for Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Trinity Health, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Learn more about the BUILD Health Challenge communities at https://buildhealthchallenge.org/.


 About Methodist Healthcare Ministries 

Methodist Healthcare Ministries broadens the definition of healthcare by providing low-cost clinical care for the uninsured and by supporting community-led efforts that improve living conditions that cause people to be sick in the first place. We use our earnings as co-owners of Methodist Healthcare to ensure that people who are economically disadvantaged and uninsured can live their healthiest lives. We do this by advocating for, investing in and providing access to quality clinical care and addressing factors that affect health—including economic mobility, supportive relationships, food security, broadband access, and safe neighborhoods. Ultimately, we fulfill our mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God” by advancing health equity so that more resilient individuals & families living in the 74 counties we serve can thrive.