Neighborhood Connections brings a 12-foot teepee to Wade Oval Wednesday July 30

Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation, will bring a 12-foot teepee to the WOW! Wade Oval Wednesday concert today, July 30. People will have an opportunity to share their thoughts about what makes for a healthy Greater University Circle.

Neighborhood Connections and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Promoting Health Across Boundaries, an initiative within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, have joined together on a “Listening Campaign.” Staff members from both organizations have spent the last few months out in the community talking with neighborhood residents and institutional leaders.

Kurt Stange, who heads up the PHAB initiative, says, “This partnership allows us to get a deeper understanding of community health by talking with residents and institutions that already have trusted relationships with Neighborhood Connections.” Stange is a professor of family medicine, epidemiology & biostatistics, sociology and oncology at Case Western Reserve, where he holds the Gertrude Donnelly Hess, MD, Professorship of Oncology Research.

“Our listening campaign is trying to discover how to improve community health,” says Danielle Price, program coordinator at Neighborhood Connections. “We are on a quest. There is a moment of opportunity here for the medical community and neighborhoods to work together differently. We want to find out what’s already working, who the community champions are and bring everyone together to work to improve community health.”

The organizations’ long-term goal is to create a vision and plan for a healthier Greater University Circle, which includes the city of East Cleveland and seven Cleveland neighborhoods: Buckeye-Shaker, Central, Fairfax, Glenville, Hough, Little Italy and University Circle.  Some parts of the area have high unemployment rates as well as other factors that contribute to poor health, but it is also home to top-rated healthcare and educational institutions like University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, and Case Western Reserve University.

Public broadcaster ideastream, whose mission in part is to strengthen our communities, will be on-hand, inside the teepee, to film people’s responses to a series of questions about health in the community. The resulting film will debut later this year.

Free and open to the public, the weekly WOW! Wade Oval Wednesdays attract thousands of people to Wade Oval in University Circle.