Weekly Update: June 23, 2016

Budget Guidance

As noted in last week's newsletter, the deadline for submitting a proposed budget has been extended to July 15, 2016. Using the format in this linked-to budget guidance, please prepare a budget setting forth how your team proposes to use its $60,000 Invest Health grant funds.

As noted in the application process and set forth in the grant agreement, Invest Health grant funds are intended to be used first to cover travel and lodging costs for team members to attend Invest Health national and pod convenings. The budget template includes a non-exhaustive listing of potential uses of grant funds. We expect that, among the 50 Invest Health teams, there will be a diversity of approaches to allocating grant funds.

Please email your team’s proposed budget to by July 15, 2016.

Digging Deeper with PolicyMap

Greetings from the PolicyMap team!

We enjoyed meeting you at the first national convening. We laughed together, we cried together over some data errors in the City Snapshots (which are now resolved; please see below), and you shared terrific insights into your individual and collective work. A special welcome to the 80% of Invest Health participants who are new PolicyMap users!

Collecting and interpreting data will be an essential component of your work to improve health outcomes through the Invest Health initiative. For data geeks like us, PolicyMap can be a fun diversion, and we encourage you to take some time to play around and explore the various data and features. PolicyMap also is a tool for in-depth research and reporting. The skills- and topic-focused trainings we will be offering for Invest Health participants this summer will be designed to help harness both the fun and the functionality of PolicyMap to bring your data off the page, place it in a larger context, and incorporate it into your Invest Health work. 

As you start digging deeper with PolicyMap, we want to highlight some additional resources and channels for support:
  1. We offer regular, introductory trainings every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Please sign up on our website.
  2. We have periodic webinars on topics of interest. Our most recent webinar – "Advancing Early Childhood Education through Data and Mapping" – was on data-driven strategies for early childhood education.
  3. Please reach out to Morgan Robinson ( or 215-574-5873) for questions about PolicyMap’s data sources and how to use our features.
  4. Please contact Phil Vu ( or our direct customer service line (866-923-6277) for questions about your account and any technical issues.
Welcome and thank you!
PolicyMap Team

Updated City Snapshots Now Posted

We've made some tweaks to the City Snapshots based on your feedback at the convening. Updated City Snapshots are now posted to each team's page in our online learning portal. 

As you reflect on your city's City Snapshot, please remember that a raw number without further context can be jarring. We encourage you to share your insights, surprises, and questions about your City Snapshot in our "Topic of the Week" discussion thread.

Resource Spotlight: Putting Data to Use

This week’s Resource Spotlight – Transit-Oriented Development and Health: A Health Impact Assessment to Inform the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund – focuses on using data to inform decision-making, including both planning and investment.  
Challenge: In developing a new, $30 million investment fund (the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund or “HNEF”) for transit-oriented development (“TOD”) projects, a cross-sector collaborative needed to identify what TOD initiatives would have the greatest impact on community and population health.
Solution: The collaborative pursued a rapid Health Impact Assessment (“HIA”) using data, metrics, and the opinions of stakeholders to model the impact of three proposed TOD projects on the health of residents in neighborhoods of focus. The HIA traced the connection from the TOD projects to resident health along the following 12 pathways: walkability/active transport, safety from crime, economic opportunity, displacement/gentrification, safety from traffic, social cohesion, green space, access to healthy affordable food, affordable housing, green housing, air quality, and environmental contamination.
Relevance for Invest Health: The HIA not only helped demonstrate the link between TOD and health, it also helped inform the “investment scorecard” the HNEF is using to determine what projects to fund. As Maggie Super Church – Invest Health National Advisory Committee member and a leader of this work – explained: “The scorecard measures the need and opportunity for healthy development in a specific neighborhood, and how well the proposed project meets the need and captures the opportunity.” 

Discussion Forum Topic of the Week

No need to wait until Denver to strike up a conversation with fellow Invest Health participants! The Discussion Forum section of our Invest Health site is for connecting, engaging, and reflecting as a community. Our Discussion Forum "topic of the week", in the Data analysis and use category, is:
  • The saying goes, “data is the way you ask questions.” What new questions about your city came to mind during the PolicyMap and County Health Rankings & Roadmaps workshops at the convening, or in reviewing your City Snapshot?
Join in the conversation and share your thoughts!

Items of Interest

What to stay up to speed on the latest developments at the intersection of community development and health? Eager to read in-depth case studies of communities that are improving opportunity through cross-sector collaboration?

Two of our favorite sources for news, events, webinars, case studies, and research are Build Healthy Places Network (BHPN) and Intersection Health. Both sites offer newsletters, which you can sign up for on their homepages.

In the meantime, check out BHPN's "Community Close Up: Vita Health & Wellness District" highlighting work in one of our Invest Heath cities, Stamford, CT.

Your Next Steps

It's been terrific to hear from numerous Invest Health teams about what you've been up to since the June convening. Among other things, teams are briefing their wider "home team", pursuing community engagement activities, checking in with their City Support Team liaison during "Office Hours", and continuing to refine their visions.

If you haven't done so already, please upload your completed Phase I Customized Team Learning Plan to your team's Dropbox folder by June 30th.

Please also submit your team's proposed budget to by July 15th.  

See you in Denver!

Our second national convening will be September 27-30, 2016 in Denver, CO. We will be kicking off with an evening reception on Tuesday, September 27th and will conclude by midday on Friday, September 30th.

Details about booking travel for the convening will be circulated in next week's newsletter. If your organization requires prior approval for travel and/or travel expenses, please begin making arrangements now.

Please reach out to with any questions in the meantime.

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