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Community-Driven Initiatives Call for Ideas

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, opportunities partnership and funding and strategies for sustainability, moving ideas from concept to reality. For details on who should apply, read the eligibility and selection criteria.

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 currently closed. If you would like to be notified when the next cycle opens, please email the team.

Project Examples

Two organizations formed a collaboration to bring affordable, nutritious foods to the rural areas of Bastrop County that need it the most. Bastrop County Cares — a countywide partnership of public, private, faith-based and nonprofit organizations — and Farmshare Austin — whose mobile markets promote access to healthy, sustainably grown foods — were both selected as Call for Ideas finalists.

Community Coalition for Health operates as a relationship broker between African American communities and health care organizations. Community-Driven Initiatives and the coalition worked together to solidify its mission and formalize its role as a faith-based organization that addresses health disparities in African American communities.

The Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas aims to positively impact health through fostering economic stability, nutritious eating, effective food policies and positive social networks by creating intergenerational gardening teams: young people, adult lead gardeners and older people who plant and maintain backyard gardens. Younger people will take financial literacy and food justice classes, teams will develop and share gardening skills and the harvest will create access to healthy, nutritious foods.

Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin is partnering with the Austin Police Department’s Police Activities League to create opportunities for youth to participate in organized soccer leagues in far east and southeast Travis County — areas with historically low investment in park programming and green spaces. This project increased soccer league enrollment and used a mobile soccer field to activate spaces for physical activity.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Ideas may be submitted by:

  • Individual residents of Central Texas, including Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson counties. (Employees of The University of Texas at Austin are not eligible.)
  • Members of organizations with a history of engaging in activities to increase community health of the above-listed counties.

Priority will be given to ideas originating in traditionally underserved groups and areas, as described in the application form.

Projects will be scored based on how well they:

  • Address an unmet need;
  • Target communities most impacted by health inequities;
  • Address or mitigate the risk for displacement and gentrification;
  • Advance “planning to stay,” the positive opposite of gentrification;
  • Improve, address or counter risk factors associated with social determinants of health, including economic factors;
  • Are able to be implemented and assessed in 12 months or less; and
  • Offer significant potential for health impact.

Ideas in Action

By the Numbers

No. of ideas submitted to date
Percent of ideas submitted by an individual
Most mentioned ZIP code