UNCG Campus Weekly

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Dr. Stephen Sills

photo of SillisDr. Stephen Sills (Center for Housing and Community Studies) received new funding from the Greensboro Housing Coalition for the project “Evaluation of the Collaborative Cottage Grove BUILD 2.0 Health Challenge Project.”  

This project is supported by funds from the BUILD Health Challenge. UNCG’s Center for Housing and Community Studies will serve as the evaluator for the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the Collaborative Cottage Grove for their BUILD Health Challenge grant. The project will employ a contextually responsive, collaborative model of participatory research. The evaluators will work with the BUILD team and partners to ensure that evaluation is institutionalized throughout by developing data tracking and feedback mechanisms for accurate reporting. The evaluation design is responsive to the evolving project and that it provides data intended to: support program improvement, demonstrate initial outcomes, and reveal institutional changes resulting from the program.

The evaluation will be quasi-experimental, mixed-method, and include GIS mapping. Impact will be evaluated using multiple data sources. Residents will be asked at three separate time points to provide assessments of: (1) community activities (gardens, health fairs, trainings) (2) physical improvements that promote activity (bike lanes, parks, sidewalks), and (3) self-reported health status and nutrition. Residents will also provide assessment of their health at the time of their participation and 90 days following. This will provide a means to identify the “contribution” that participation in a particular activity had on perceptions of health and engagement in behaviors associated with positive health. Attendance counts at health fairs and other events will help to determine overall community engagement. Observational counts of bike riding, walking, playground use, other activities use will be made.

The project focuses on measuring impact at the (1) individual, (2) health issue, and (3) community level. At the individual level the focus will be on changes in perceptions of health promotion and reported levels of engagement. At the health issue level, the focus will be on improvements on health issues and their consequences (reduction in emergency department visits, living in homes without asthma triggers, healthy eating, reduction of diabetes symptoms, more physical active). At the community level, the impact on community dynamics (collaborations and communication, support for promoting healthy environment), community economics, improvement to housing, and development of public areas will be examined. To determine the relative impact of BUILD, residents of a nearby community with comparable socio-demographics will be surveyed at the same times. The communities will be compared on health indicators relating to diabetes, asthma, and general health.