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How to Get Involved with Community Health Improvement Efforts

  1. Learn about the St. Louis region and the health disparities that exist! BJC is committed to advancing health equity across our region. The disparities are clear, and BJC is making a concerted effort to use its power to address the core issues that create these differences, focusing on the social and economic factors that influence health. We encourage everyone to be part of this effort!
  2. Volunteer! One of the best ways that you can promote the health of your community is to get involved with volunteerism. Supporting local community organizations is invaluable, and your time is one of the most important assets you have. Please consider volunteering through our partner, United Way of Greater St. Louis, which coordinates STL Volunteer. Your place of employment may also coordinate community volunteer opportunities. Reach out to your HR team for more details.
  3. Support local, Black-owned businesses! When we support local business, especially in neighborhoods that have long faced underinvestment we can make a tremendous impact on the economic health of the community. Here’s a great list of local Black owned restaurants and businesses.
  4. Where you bank matters! Did you know that where you bank has a tremendous impact on community lending and influences where branches are located? Think about where you put and store your money and decide what is best for you and your family. BJC is partnering with two financial institutions in the community to help address the racial wealth gap: Midwest BankCentre and St. Louis Community Credit Union.
  5. Advocate and vote! Your voice matters. There are numerous policy opportunities to support community health improvement, ensuring that efforts are sustained for the long term. It is important to get involved at the local, regional, state, and national levels to ensure your voice is heard. BJC provides information on our priorities and on ways to get engaged and act.
  6. Get active in your neighborhood! This is where you live and spend a considerable amount of your time. Getting to know your neighbors helps build community and strengthen neighborhoods. Local neighborhood associations are a great place to meet people, discover shared interests, and mobilize change in your own backyard. To connect with your local neighborhoods and associations across the Greater St. Louis region, visit the STL Neighborhood Organization Map.
  7. Promote your work! Are you leading or participating in work within BJC’s priority areas: financial investment in the community, diabetes and healthy food access, infant and maternal health, or school health and wellness? If so, we would love to hear from you. Whether you’re in the planning stage, just beginning, or have established work, please tell us about it. This is a first step in ensuring our efforts remain aligned and coordinated, and it helps minimize duplication of effort. There also may be opportunities for us to connect your work to other activities in the community.
  8. Help set examples of healthy behaviors! One way to do this is by sharing clear and accurate information in your personal and professional networks about COVID-19, including the importance of vaccination. This is especially necessary in communities where vaccination rates are low. You also can encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to get vaccinated by sharing your personal experiences with them. We know this message needs to be heard and reinforced from trusted sources. With your help, we can increase vaccination rates across the region to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading and keep our community safe.
  9. Set inclusive tables! As you form groups to develop solutions that address health issues, think about who is at the table. Are you including individuals who are most impacted by the issue you hope to address? Are you developing materials in multiple languages for diverse audiences? When speaking about populations most impacted, are you using empowering language to describe individuals and neighborhoods? Be sure to pause and think about the groups you lead or participate in to ensure that the voices of individuals most impacted are actively involved in agenda-setting and decision making.
  10. Connect with us and get involved! We would love to hear about the ways you are getting involved in your community and putting these recommendations to work. Share your stories and get in touch with BJC Community Health Improvement here!