Healthy San Bernardino Coalition Defines “Health Hubs”

Cynthia Luna from the Latino Health Collaborative lists the characteristics of a Health Hub

During June’s Healthy San Bernardino Coalition (HSBC) meeting, members convened to discuss the Health Hub Concept and Safe Routes to Schools programming in the City of San Bernardino (City). The group had a lot of excitement and energy when discussing both these programs. The conversation featured a lot of interactions from the packed room of advocates, public health staff, city staff, school district liaison, and community stakeholders and organizations. Kudos to the HSBC leadership for integrating interactive brainstorming and mapping exercises.

The Coalition envisions an active living community coalition that promotes healthy eating, lifestyles, and environments. Such a community would include the following aspects:

  • Access to health food,
  • Safe streets and public spaces, schools, parks, and open spaces,
  • Appropriate healthcare, wellness, and prevention, including behavioral health,
  • Economic stability and quality educational and employment opportunities,
  • Community-driven collaborative leadership and
  • Personal awareness, motivation, and responsibility with a community-wide sense of hope and purpose.

Cynthia Luna from the Latino Health Collaborative and Reach Out asked the Coalition “What is a Health Hub?”  The term was not predefined for the group. (See picture at top) HSBC’s approach for soliciting feedback is a best practice for coalition building, coordination, and communications.

First, members identified places in the community that already offered physical activity, support and wellness services, and resources for healthy eating and active living. (See picture to the right) Second, the group brainstormed a  list of traits and functions of a Health Hub (in green in the photo at top):

  • Activities for All
  • Support Group
  • Gathering / Community Center
  • *Safe
  • *Accessible
  • *Education –> Advocacy
  • Community Building for People and Feeding your soul, Voice concerns
  • * Builds Social Capital
  • *Sustainable
  • Connection, Consistency
  • Back to Community Focus
Then, the Coalition created a list of resources required for creating and sustaining Health Hubs in the community, in blue in the photo:
  • Space
  • Trust
  • Relationships
  • *Commitment
  • Consistency
  • Money and Resources
  • Will
  • Community Buy-In
  • *Advertising
  • Heart
  • Transparency
  • Good Planning
  • Openness to Feedback
  • Social Inventory
  • *Multiple activities
  • *Multiple partners
  • *Communication
Lastly, elements from each list were prioritized, which are circled in red in the photo and starred (*) in the lists.
The Coalition will use this information to prioritize and form next steps for creating, promoting, and connecting services from various Health Hubs. It may even lead to the discovery of new Health Hubs. Mapping community resources also helps leaders and advocates identify and gaps for various communities, such as youth, seniors, monolingual, and low-income populations. It can even be a launching point for discussions with city leadership and staff on active transportation infrastructure improvements, opportunities for developing safe routes to schools, and public transit options, including first and last mile planning. The next meeting of HSBC is July 19, 2012. Contact Cynthia Luna for more details at cynthia@latinohealthca.org.

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