Community-Driven Initiatives is a program of the Department of Population Health that seeks to support and implement health solutions proposed by and for residents of Austin and Central Texas communities. Led by Carmen Valdez, Ph.D., the team advances ideas by fostering partnerships, advising on areas of opportunity, promoting leadership development and much more.
To support the best ideas for improving community health, the team focuses on the following.
- Identifying persons in Austin, Travis County and Central Texas who have ideas to improve the health of their communities and neighborhoods. Since the places individuals live and work in influence health, who best to enhance the health of a community than those who live and work there?
- Addressing systemic challenges rooted in unfair economic policies, discrimination and other social determinants of health that drive health inequities. The team’s aim is to implement local solutions and scale those that improve the health of surrounding communities.
- Identifying and supporting exceptional people and ideas that may otherwise not have a source for support, ensuring their community impact and sustainability. Change and political will require empathy and solidarity, and to achieve those two conditions, the team works to connect the people most impacted with resources sufficient to fully test new and exciting ideas.
What’s Your Idea?
Community-Driven Initiatives issues periodic calls for ideas. All receive feedback, and some get robust support.
Community-Driven Initiatives Call for Ideas
Your Idea. Your Neighborhood. Your Health.
Often, the best ideas for improving health in a community come from those who live and work there. Dell Medical School’s Community-Driven Initiatives supports these.
By leveraging the resources of The University of Texas at Austin and the surrounding community, leaders of projects identified by Community-Driven Initiatives’ periodic Call for Ideas work with the team to develop plans for implementation, evaluation and sustainability, moving ideas from concept to reality.
The Call for Ideas is a partnership opportunity with Dell Medical School; a way to pilot projects for, by and about the community; and an opportunity to turn an idea into a plan. If the plan is successful, the project will launch in six months to a year.
Every idea submitted receives feedback from a Community Strategy Team and a dedicated project development team. A handful of ideas from each cycle receive robust support.
The Call for Ideas is open from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021.
As COVID-19 continues to impact community health, Community-Driven Initiatives is requesting ideas from Central Texans to address three areas of need:
- Mental health
- Food access
- COVID-19 resources (vaccines, testing, etc.)
If you have an idea that addresses any of these issues, submit an application.
Community-Driven Initiatives will host a Call for Ideas information session on Friday, Feb. 12, from 12 to 1 p.m. Please RSVP ahead of time join the team to learn more about the program and the idea development process.