Community Health Innovators Step Into Phase 2

On March 28, 2018, the Ward Infinity Town Hall Forum marked the end of the first phase of the inaugural Community Health Innovators program, Sibley’s groundbreaking approach to partnering with local residents of Wards 7 and 8 to build healthier, sustainable communities.  With the support of Sibley and input from government and community leaders on the Ward Infinity Advisory Council, the Community Health Innovators successfully generated proposals targeting community health improvement priorities.  

Ward Infinity is a community-led initiative that creates a pathway for local residents to use the Sibley Innovation Hub’s human-centered design approach to address the lack of a sustainable, healthy support systems in Wards 7 and 8.  In Fall 2017, Sibley Memorial Hospital selected nine Wards 7 and 8 Innovators to address these challenges: Diane Brent-Farmer and Hortense Farmer (Team Bloom); Brenda Liddell(Team Hope); Deborah Nix (Team Keys to Canaan); Mary Blackford and Jacob Clark (Team Market 7); and Jason AndersonJohn Johnson, and Tamika Jones (Team Playback).

Read more about the Town Hall Forum here.

What’s Next: A Second Phase of Ward Infinity

Following the town hall, the Advisory Council used a series of business and public health criteria to evaluate the teams for potential sustainability within local communities. While all five teams demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of the public health issues that their original proposals sought to address, only two teams moved on to Phase 2 of programming: Team Bloom and Team Market 7.  

Team Bloom is creating a program encouraging communities to adopt healthier lifestyles through a series of wellness parties called Taste and Talk, where neighbors can gather in a relaxed, social setting and sample wholesome recipes incorporating healthier ingredients.  Leveraging social networks, language, ingredients and flavors already familiar to their communities, the Taste and Talk sessions hope to cultivate healthier lifestyles.

Team Market 7 aims to expand healthy food and accessible retail products for Ward 7 residents via an indoor community marketplace model.  This program will create opportunities for local, black-owned businesses to sell to local residents while also addressing community health concerns, particularly related to food access challenges in Ward 7.

Each of the remaining teams has received feedback and individualized recommendations from the Advisory Council that are meant to help foster:

  • better business and public health related strategies,

  • more promising and sustainable community partnerships, and

  • additional development and piloting opportunities for their prototypes.

Team Playback will also work collaboratively with Sibley and DC Health to refine their innovative concept of using the arts – Playback Theatre – to generate thoughtful conversations about health and wellness, and increase community engagement with the healthcare system. 

Read more about Phase 2 here.
Thank you to all of the Community Health Innovators for their partnership with Sibley and their dedication to serving their communities.

Their Expertise. Their Priorities. Their Projects. Our Method. Our Support.



Emily Brands