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Transforming the Urban Food Desert From the Grassroots Up: A Model for Community Change

Lewis, LaVonna Blair PhD; Galloway-Gilliam, Lark MPA; Flynn, Gwendolyn BA; Nomachi, Jonathan MPP; Keener, LaTonya Chavis MS; Sloane, David C. PhD

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e318202a87f
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH): Translating Processes of Change and Attributing Improved Health Outcomes to Social Determinants of Health Programs: Original Article

Confronted by continuing health disparities in vulnerable communities, Community Health Councils (CHC), a nonprofit community-based organization in South Los Angeles, worked with the African Americans Building a Legacy of Health Coalition and research partners to develop a community change model to address the root causes of health disparities within the community's African American population. This article discusses how the CHC Model's development and application led to public policy interventions in a “food desert.” The CHC Model provided a systematic approach to engaging impacted communities in support of societal level reforms, with the goal to influence health outcomes.

School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California (Drs Lewis and Sloane), Community Health Council (Messrs Galloway-Gilliam, and Flynn, and Mr Nomachi), Los Angeles, California; and Columbus Technologies and Services, Inc. Contractor, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Action Institute (REHDAI), Atlanta, Georgia (Ms Keener).

Correspondence: LaVonna Blair Lewis, PhD, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, 650 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626 (

This work was supported by the REACH 2010 and REACH US cooperative agreements funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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