The Long Branch Health Enterprise Zone Concept

September 4, 2012

The goal of the Long Branch Health Enterprise Zone is to reduce health disparities in the Long Branch/Takoma Park community.  This community has a diverse population with significant disparities in income and opportunity. The Health Enterprise Zone is modeled after other successful place based initiatives for improving community health and well being.  The Harlem Children’s Zone is one example.  Place based initiatives that focus local people, organizations, and resources to address community problems in a holistic way can achieve results that no single program operating in isolation can achieve on its own.  This is because place based initiatives do three things that individual programs have difficulty doing.  First, it can create collaborations, establish information exchanges, and facilitate actions that can remove the obstacles that prevent individual programs from succeeding. Second, it builds and taps into the local social networks that have been shown to be essential to creating real and substantial changes in people’s behavior and attitudes.  Third, it leverages and expands the resources available to the community, which is particularly important to historically under resourced communities and disadvantaged populations.

 

The Long Branch HEZ  is a collaboration with deep roots in the community.  All coalition members in this process share a commitment to a shared vision (below), measuring results, and empowering community members.

 

Vision: Create a collaboration that involves multi-sectoral participation and coordination of services, programs, enterprises and projects to create healthy thriving communities that empowe