About Building Healthy Communities

In 2009 areas of the Southwest Merced and East Merced County were selected as one of the 14 communities to become a part of The California Endowment’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities Initiative. Multiple Merced agencies, community members, youth, faith leaders, government entities, and systems leaders participated in a planning process than spanned for almost two years. The planning involved over 50 entities and countless community meetings and ended with the final submission of our Community Action Plan also known as our Logic Model and Narrative to The California Endowment in October 2010. With the action plan submitted to The California Endowment, Merced community stakeholders selected the following areas of community development to focus on first: 

Children and families are safe from violence in their homes and neighborhoods.

Violence prevention is not just the business of the police departments. It’s a public health issue, and it’s preventable. Youth, For this to happen youth, parents, faith leaders, law enforcement, local government and local businesses must join forces to create alternatives to violence along with new opportunities for healthy youth development.

Communities support healthy youth development.

Mobilizing youth leaders, change agents of power and support kids to stay in school, Healthy youth development is about finding meaningful opportunities for our young people and providing them the skills to thrive. Simply put, it is about investing in our future: Investing in Merced’s youth.

Community health improvements are linked to economic development.

All communities deserve their fair share of economic resources. The link between health to economic gains is apparent. New projects should balance economic gains with health and environmental concerns, and guarantee that all local residents reap the benefits of economic development. 

BHC Southwest/East Merced County  has provided the resources to get many initiatives and community groups off the ground to work towards changing policies and systems to make Merced a healthier place to live.
Over the past four years of implementation, campaigns that are part of the BHC have reached out and mobilized hundreds of residents in Merced County and have shown success in winning campaigns and achievements by collaborating with each other and empowering youth and adult residents to be the voices for their community.
BHC Merced is committed to engaging youth and adult residents from each of the areas while recognizing that each area is itself made up of diverse groups.  For BHC Merced, diversity includes people from different economic, educational, occupational, ethnic, racial, language, or other backgrounds as well as those of different ages, genders, sexual identities and gender expression.
Building Healthy Communities is grounded in a belief that resident power will lead to the transformation of policies and systems resulting in broad, neighborhood-level, positive health impacts for the entire community.
For a complete list of the Building Healthy Communities Ten Outcomes click here.
  1. All Children have health care coverage.
  2. Families have improved access to a healthy home that supports healthy behaviors.
  3. Health and family-focused human services shift resources toward prevention.
  4. Residents live in communities that promotes healthy land use, transportation, and community development.
  5. Children and families are safe from violence in their homes and neighborhoods.
  6. Communities support healthy youth development.
  7. Neighborhood and school environments support improved health and healthy behaviors.
  8. Community health improvements are linked to economic development.
  9. Health gaps fro boys and young men of color are narrowed.
  10. California has a shared vision of community health. 

    For a complete list of the Building Healthy Communities Ten Outcomes click here.
In addition to our priority outcomes and The California Endowment's 10 outcomes, BHC as overarching value propositions of Southwest Merced/East Merced County BHC:
  1. Youth have a role as leaders
  2. Cultural Diversity and histories are valued
  3. Civic engagement is strengthened
  4. Access to quality healthcare for all Merced.