Proviso Partners for Health
This story was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Who We Are
Located just west of Chicago, Proviso Township's Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) is a multi-sector coalition that was developed to ensure healthy food access and community economic development. Partners from businesses, daycare centers, schools, health care systems, social service organizations, and community residents work collaboratively to implement policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. We are also partners with the Cook County Department of Public Health's Healthy Hot Spots initiative.
Growing opportunities for all with passion, action and hope.
To achieve our highest expectation for community health, justice, and love.
PP4H is committed to the following values
|We value the creative talents and potential of youth to achieve our common goals.
|We believe everyone has something to teach and everyone can learn from one another.
Trust and Integrity
|We build relationships among partners based on equity, trust and integrity.
|We balance leadership and decision-making among organizations, community members and families with lived experience.
Unity and Diversity
|We value the power of our unity and diversity to achieve our common goals.
|We value a safe environment to optimize health and well-being for all.
Proviso Township Overview
PP4H uses health improvement tools and methods to support healthy living in the Proviso Township. In addition to healthy living and access to healthy foods, a long term aim is economic development and job creation through initiatives. Proviso Township contains about 150,000 people, and is approximately 10 miles west of center-city Chicago with three high schools. The area is segregated by wealth and other social determinants of health. At one of the largest high schools in the Township, the amount spent per student is the least of all the communities in the area. This neighborhood also includes unemployment rates at an all-time high, graduation rates that are below 40% and an obesity rate that is twice the national average. Nevertheless, there are a wealth of assets in our community and the coalition has helped bridge the gap between the hospital, schools and the community to build partnerships in order to leverage existing assets and resources.
Reflections on the SCALE Journey
Shanika Blanton, Program Manager, and Lena Hatchett, Executive Director, welcome PP4H members at yearly retreat.
Youth leader speaking at PP4H yearly retreat.
Some people dream about vacation and I used to dream that my community could be a place where people wanted to come. Despite very little evidence that crime, unemployment, education, and food access was getting better, somewhere inside me was a vision that the community could be beautiful and the Black and Brown people that lived in it could love themselves and each other.
At the beginning of SCALE I still remember the day I saw the word JOY in the application. To see joy as a value in grant application was intriguing. I didn’t know what improvement science was or the reputation of IHI, but the journey connected to the possibility of the Proviso community that I’ve always had.
Towards the middle of the SCALE journey I was living that earlier dream. My confidence grew, I learned more tools than I can count. It seemed every crazy thought I had, there was a value, practice and tool to describe why it was going to work. I latched on the concept of bright spots and failing forward as my new mantra along with the science to explain why we cared in our community, why we didn’t give up and why it was going to work. Habits of the heart, empathy maps, switch thinking, group facilitation, power mapping and action labs, we use it all. The community norms switched overnight and it is acceptable to trust each other again.
At the end of the SCALE 1.0 journey, I hardly recognize this community. The Park District and the Village that has fought over parks for more than 20 years are sitting at the table working collaboratively. The police are training with women domestic violence survivors, and our youth Champions for Change are teaching adults how to find asset in the community. When we meet a new partner we listen and figure out what they need. There is usually, a SCALE tool just right for their challenge. We ignited a community revolution with SCALE and it is spreading naturally.
Healthy Food Access For All
Maywood, IL is a community in Proviso Township where over 50% of residents are at or below the federal poverty level. The Proviso Partners for Health coalition, initially began by working on improving healthy food access in this neighborhood because it was a food desert and because of the prevalence of chronic disease in the Proviso Township.
Initially, we advocated for and had a grocery store open. This is usually considered the gold standard of achievement in addressing food deserts. Unfortunately, the grocery store closed after 18 months. We started a farmer’s market that was also unsuccessful. With the help of other coalitions and organizations, we recognized that community engagement, building on local assets and needs, and economic development were critical to creating a healthy community—and to do that, we needed to partner across sectors.
"This began a whole new path for us as PP4H turned into a true cross-sector coalition."
How we connect: PP4H + Healthy Food Access + our Youth