We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
I have learned that having the trust and support of the community where the work is being implemented are just as if not more important than the program planners. Our success has been because the communities we serve trust and support our work.
What should our readers know about your business?
Communities for Better Health (CFBH) is a non-profit organized based in Houston with a mission to to improve health outcomes by promoting health equity and addressing social and environmental conditions (social determinants of health) in vulnerable communities. One of the main things that sets CFBH apart from other organizations is that fact that we recognize that communities are networks of individuals with common goals, and that each community has its own pulse and priorities. Our goal is to foster genuine relationships among each community that we serve and with the organizations that serve them in order to understand and address the health priorities of the people who live, play, and work within each. Also, here at CFBH, we specialize in the unconventional. The traditional model dictates that once a problem has been identified, a solution is chosen from the hat to apply to the problem, and then it is brought to the community for implementation. At CFBH, we see a problem and we look to those impacted by the issue to guide the intervention that works best for them. We work backwards to push the needle forward. CFBH was established out of a need to provide communities with a strong foundation to address health-related challenges in their communities with a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down approach. Community-based work comes with its challenges, but by working alongside the communities we serve, we are able to push through and advocate for sustainable change.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One thing I love about Houston is the food scene. I am actually a big foodie. Favorite brunch and desert spot: The Breakfast Klub, Tout Suite, and Cyclone Anaya’s I try to make healthier food choices, so when I am feeling Vegan/Vegetarian, Green Seed Vegan is my go to spot Dinner spot: Del Friscos, Pour Behavior Nail Spot: Glossed Glam Factory In terms of happy hour or just a quick place to get drinks, I love the Davenport! My hangout spots around Houston: Hermann Park (to ride the boats), Discovery Green,
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My community- they are the reason why I started and continue to do this work.
Left to right Veronica Sanchez, The American Heart Association Whitney Weathersby, Chief Operating Officer for Communities for Better Health Myself Mayor Sylvester Turner Adzovi Fonville, Program Coordinator for Communities for Better Health Jometra Hawkins, Co-Chair for the Acres Homes Health Action Team