CHEER Pilots Community Health Improvement Process

July 12, 2011

On June 28 CHEER conducted the first of a series of events at Essex House, a Takoma Park high rise on Maple Avenue that houses a large number of African and African-American residents.  This event included a presentation from Msache Mwaluko from the African American Health Program on how to get health care, and an introduction to the community health improvement process. Although just a small group of residents turned out for the event, the quality of the engagement was extremely good, and feedback was very positive.  We anticipate that attendance will grow with the next two events in the series.


The next event at Essex House will be a showing of the PBS documentary “Unnatural Causes” in July, followed by an event for residents two weeks later where they can share stories about health and well-being.  This third event will be designed to identify shared vision and goals.  This series is intended to provide information that is of interest and value to Essex House residents and to provide valuable qualitative research information that allows CHEER to continue a process that will fulfill the research objectives of a community assessment of health, housing, and local economy.


One of the key objectives for CHEER’s community health improvement process is to understand, map and assess the social networks in targeted neighborhoods.  The quality of social networks is a crucial determinant of health.  Connecting these social networks to resources, opportunities, and services