Track: Health and Well-Being
Commitment: Partnering with Purpose
North Star: Strategic Partnerships

Level of Learning: Doer

Spotlight on Colorado Workshop

The moderator will convene two to three BUILD Health Challenge awardees focused on an area of family health to explore pathways to advancing sustainable improvements in community health. This conversational fireside chat will focus on real world experiences and outcomes from two community groups that are working to meet the upstream needs of families and improve health outcomes. 

Panelists will discuss both the ups and downs of their work and what they've learned as a result. Topics of discussion to include: 

  • Harnessing the power of cross-sector collaborations and the community
  • What it takes to create systems change
  • How health equity plays a role in their efforts
  • What they are doing to measure their impact

Q&A with the audience will seek to address targeted questions from attendees.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to effectively plan for and implement strategies that will result in systems change
  • Gain awareness of challenges and opportunities that arise when fostering cross-sector collaborations and learn how to maximize them
  • Gather insights into different frames/approaches to effectively address root causes of chronic disease in communities


  • Emily Yu, executive director, BUILD Health Challenge (@DCxChange and @BUILD_Health)
  • Eileen Auer Bennett (invited), executive director, Assuring Better Child Health & Development
  • Jodi Hardin (invited), co-executive director, Civic Canopy (@CivicCanopy)

Emily Yu
Executive Director
BUILD Health Challenge
@DCxChange; @BUILD_Health

Emily Yu is helping to change the future of health in America by leading the charge to cultivate community collaborations that are working to give everyone a fair chance to be healthy. With nearly two decades of experience in program development and social marketing strategy implementation, for both the public and private sectors, Yu brings together a unique perspective that fuels her passion for both identifying and proving sustainable models for social change. A dynamic funding collaborative, the BUILD Health Challenge is improving health by improving the social and environmental conditions our society less readily associates with health. In support of this bold goal, Yu is forging dynamic partnerships with leading foundations, community-based organizations, hospitals and health systems, public health departments, companies, and others to tackle a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Improving substandard housing stock
  • Eliminating food deserts
  • Creating opportunities for exercise and active living
  • Ending the cycle of domestic and gang violence

Eileen Auer Bennett (invited)
Executive Director
Assuring Better Child Health & Development

Eileen Auer Bennett has led the ABCD efforts in Colorado for 10 years. Auer Bennett’s education allows her to support the business and managerial aspects of ABCD. Her previous work experience includes time as a service coordinator for children with special developmental needs, thus allowing for unique insights into this field. Additionally, her experience as a parent of a child with multiple disabilities and her many years of service in the early childhood sector have led to many connections with state agencies and other key partners who support the work.

Jodi Hardin  (invited)
Co-Executive Director
Civic Canopy

Jodi Hardin guides the organization-wide strategy, securing the partnerships and resources needed to develop and deliver the Canopy’s core service and support offerings. She applies a strategic lens to all Canopy project areas and supports team members to ensure fidelity to the Canopy’s Community Learning Model. Additionally, Hardin designs and facilitates a variety of projects at the Canopy, overseeing a diverse portfolio of community, state, and national projects. Hardin is known for her expertise in strategy and systems development, cross-sector partnership building, and connecting often disparate efforts into a more cohesive whole in addition to content expertise in early childhood systems. She received a master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.