ECCHO: Engaging Communities to Change Health Outcomes
Our Mission: Center the voices and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, cisgender and transgender women of color, and non-binary people of color (BIPOC) to drive policy change and transform local systems to equitably meet the needs of communities.
Transform systems & communities by centering those closest to the issue.
Autonomy & Self-Determination
Community Power & Leadership
BIPOC women and non-binary people in Milwaukee, Rock, and Dane county have the resources and support they need to build collective power and improve the health outcomes of their communities.
Build strong civic infrastructure to improve civic health outcome
Improve health outcomes of individuals and communities
Increase confidence and leadership skills
Empower individuals to radically imagine a better future
ECCHO is a civic engagement training program that seeks to improve community health outcomes by engaging those most impacted by generational and systemic racism in Dane, Milwaukee, and Rock county.
During a 9 month training program, participants work together as a cohort to design and implement a community-based project that meets the health and civic health needs of their community.
Each cohort is overseen by a Local Program Coordinator who compensates participants for their work and provides them with the training and resources they need to successfully implement their project, drive policy change, and transform local systems of power.
ECCHO is committed to community-based leadership and decision-making that centers the views and experiences of those most affected by the issue. By investing in and lifting-up those most negatively impacted by generational and systemic racism in our state, ECCHO aims to transform local systems of power and improve health outcomes.
To ensure the program remains in alignment with our values, the following practices have been incorporated into the administration, structure, and curriculum of the program:
Social justice oriented practices
Community-based participatory research practices
Civic health is defined as civic, social, and political strength of a community, which is determined by the degree to which citizens participate in their communities, from local and state governance to interactions with friends or family.
Public health researchers have long known that the civic health of a community contributes directly and indirectly to overall community health.
Communities that have a strong civic infrastructure are more likely to have positive civic health and health equity outcomes.
Civic infrastructure are the laws, processes, institutions and associations that support opportunities for people to connect, solve problems, make decisions and celebrate community.
According to the 2021 County Health Rankings, Milwaukee and Rock counties are ranked among Wisconsin’s least healthy counties. These same counties have a significantly lower rate of civic engagement related to voting and voter registration.
With this in mind, ECCHO seeks to strengthen the civic infrastructure of Dane, Milwaukee, and Rock county to increase civic participation, and improve their civic health and health equity outcomes.
Phase 1: Cohort crafts a collective vision of the future
Each cohort is supported by a Local Program Coordinator who:
Provides info & resources to assist cohort with developing and executing a local civic health project
Actively listens to the needs, desires, and vision of cohort
Empowers cohort to be confident leaders who imagine a better future for themselves & communities
Facilitates cohort training, community building, and project development needs
Cat Phouybanhdyt, ECCHO Milwaukee Local Program Coordinator
ECCHO Program Director
Fernanda Alayo, ECCHO Dane County Local Program Coordinator