What We Do

BUILDING A CULTURE OF HEALTH

Our work is based on the principle that the people most affected by health disparities must lead the movement. They create their own solutions and monitor their progress. The Health Gap’s Grassroots Mobilization Model engages, advocates, and empowers community movements.

The Grassroots Mobilization Model to Eliminate Health Disparities

The Health Gap is a community-health grassroots organization with a clear mission: to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, and make Cincinnati a healthier place to live. We do this by promoting a culture of health where we live, work, and play. Every day, healthcare professionals face patients who have come to them too late. Years of poor nutrition, low activity levels, and social and economic factors have put them on a path to get sicker more often and die earlier than the rest of our neighbors. Fortunately, many of these situations are preventable. That’s why the Health Gap works so hard to address the cultural influences perpetuating these problems — to start breaking down the staggering roadblocks affecting Cincinnati’s underserved population.

Every year, we help thousands of our neighbors live better and stronger by giving them tools to stay healthy and reaching them in their neighborhoods. We are working to build a culture of health in our neighborhoods — together.

Creating opportunities to engage

The Health Gap simultaneously works with communities, healthcare organizations and civic leaders to address health inequities through policy change, initiatives, and educational programming.

  • In partnership with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, The Tillery Fellowship is an opportunity for students pursuing Masters of Public Health degrees to participate in a one- year training program on health disparities.
  • The Annual Health Expo is the Health Gap’s signature event providing health education in a fun, interactive environment.
    • More than 110,000 attendees since 2003, including 10,000 in 2018 – 31,000+ free health screenings provideda
  • Black Men’s Health Initiative is designed to educate the often-unreached population of black men, in a safe environment.
    • 620+ African-American men have attended since 2015

Creating tools that empower

The health care system is challenging to understand, as is managing your personal health. Health Gap strategies and initiatives help people get better information so they can make better health decisions.

  • Do Right!® Campaigns are a Health Gap cornerstone. The guiding principles – Eat Right, Move Right, Live Right – are simple to understand and drive all of our programming.
  • Do Right!® Block by Block is a resident-led, resident-lifestyle program focused on physical activity and dietary outcomes. Health Champions lead residents to build a culture of health for all.
    • 30 Health Champions currently lead and have trained 103 Mt. Auburn households
  • Do Right!® Kids is an after-school program addressing high rates of childhood obesity. It encourages physical activity, nutrition and treatment.
    • Serving 1,431 students in 4 schools
    • 31% increase of physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Do Right!® Healthy Corner Store Network provides equipment and training to improve food access and transform corner stores into healthy outlets in Cincinnati’s food deserts.
    • 11 stores in 8 neighborhoods
    • Hosted 112 nutrition education tables reaching 1,839 neighborhood men, women and children
  • Do Right!® Babies reduces the racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality and improves birth outcomes by empowering families to improve their overall health.
  • Do Right!® Nutrition Train the Trainer teaches participants to become nutrition leaders. Graduates are able to teach nutrition, budgeted grocery shopping and more.
    • 229 graduates, 85 workshops, 880+ Cincinnatians reached

Creating advocates for change

The Health Gap encourages every Cincinnati community to support good health for all by teaching people to stand up for their health.

  • Hispanic/Latino Community Partnerships are critical to the Health Gap’s work and include organizations like LULAC, the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission and Su Casa Hispanic Center.
    • The Health Gap and Su Casa collaborated on the Házlo Bien! Campaign, a Spanish language outreach designed to help residents better understand their health.
  • Food Deserts are home to 25% of Cincinnati’s population. In response, the Health Gap is part of the Food Access and Healthy Living Task Force and is behind the Cincinnati Fresh Food Retail Finance Fund.
  • The Healthy Living Task Force improves the lives of Cincinnati residents at the policy level. Headed by Councilman Wendell Young and co-chaired by the Health Gap, the task force work to incorporate health considerations into all city policies.

Let’s Close the Gap Together.

In 2004, when former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery founded the Health Gap, thousands of people in Cincinnati and millions across the country were living with the consequences of health disparities every day. They didn’t have the same access to fresh food and quality health care, and they were getting sicker and dying earlier because of it. Sadly, the residents affected by them and the medical community addressing them knew very little about their root causes and how to reverse the trend.

Since then, the Health Gap has touched the lives of tens of thousands of Cincinnatians by equipping and empowering them to to take control of their own health by eating better, exercising more, monitoring their health, and helping their neighbors do the same. Through education, advocacy and outreach, the community-health organization is building a culture of health and making Cincinnati healthier — not just for some or most of the population, but for all.
But the journey is far from over.

According to the 2015 Kelly Report, the Black community experiences the highest mortality rates
in most of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. Those numbers are linked to social determinants such as poverty and unsafe neighborhoods. The Health Gap is committed to changing health outcomes for the most underserved populations and providing every child with the chance for the same life expectancy as their peers — no matter the color of their skin. No matter their ZIP code.

Current Initiatives

We initiate solutions at the policy level and collaborate with healthcare organizations to develop and implement evidence-based interventions and innovative programs to deliver our mission. The Health Gap uses community health initiatives to improve the health outcomes of our target populations.