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Building Healthy Communities (BHC)

The California Endowment (TCE) has launched a ten-year Building Healthy Communities (BHC) strategic plan designed to improve health systems and the physical, social, economic and service structures that support healthy living and behaviors in fourteen, underserved California communities.

TCE intends to achieve results by supporting two interrelated processes: 1) fostering place-based partnerships to improve environments, policies, and health outcomes for children in the 14 selected communities, and 2) elevating the experience of local communities to inform regional, state, and national policy decisions that will help institutionalize and take to scale successful local practices that lead to systemic changes and positive outcomes. Read more

In support of this initiative, WestEd is helping lay the foundation within each BHC place for developing a system of collaboration, school-community, data-driven decision-making and knowledge management in the area of adolescent health and education. Initial work involved three main tasks:

  • Each BHC place was provided with baseline reports of the data from the California Healthy Kids Survey and California School Climate Survey from all the secondary schools within the place boundary.
  • To provide even better data to guide BHC decision-making, we developed a supplementary CHKS Building Healthy Communities Module which assesses priority indicators not covered by the Core CHKS Module.
  • We analyzed and provided reports summarizing the physical fitness of students based on data collected by the California Department of Education for each BHC.

About the BHC Module

The CHKS Building Health Communities (BHC) Module was developed under funding from The California Endowment to support data-driven decision-making by its grantees in 14 BHC places across California. The BHC module also provides a tool for all schools to obtain additional priority, health-related indicators that supplement those in the CHKS Core Module. It provides data relevant to assessing how school and community environments contribute to ensuring that students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. More specifically, the questions in the BHC module assess the following issues:

  • Access to healthcare in and out of school, and healthcare history (physical and dental examinations)
  • The effect of health problems on school attendance
  • Nutritious food and drink consumption in and out of school, school food service
  • Physical activity in and out of school
  • The health-related quality of the school environment (buildings and water)
  • Safety in the neighborhood and along routes to school
  • Exposure to restorative justice practices in the schools
  • School-to-workforce career education, and post-secondary career/college plans

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