Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research
CHEER's mission is to provide people with the knowledge and ability to create healthy, thriving communities. CHEER is a community-driven process for identifying community vision and goals, and for gathering the information and resources needed to measure and fulfill them.
CHEER operates a holistic place and people based community improvement process for Takoma Park and the Long Branch neighborhoods of Silver Spring, Maryland. It has three major activities:
CHEER uses community indicators, data that measures local conditions, to serve as benchmarks of progress toward community-defined goals. Community indicators provide insight into trends and issues that affect quality of life and economic well-being. Indicators and participatory research enable community members and decision makers to understand how the community is doing, make informed decisions, and take actions to make the community better.
COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PROCESS: Engagement, Vision, Learning, and Action
CHEER offers a four step process that helps build healthy Communities. First CHEER engages members of the community who are representative of the whole in an open and welcoming environment. Second CHEER helps the community formulate a shared vision, set goals and select indicators that measure progress toward the goals that the community has chosen. Third, CHEER conducts participatory research of the indicators so community members and stakeholders can learn how the community is doing. Finally, CHEER facilitates actions that community members, can take to improve the quality of life in the community.
CHEER has applied this process to housing, health, local economy, and social issues in Takoma Park and Long Branch.
HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONE
CHEER is convener of the Long Branch Health Enterprise Zone. This coalition of health care providers, local government, social service organizations, and community based organizations seeks to improve population health, reduce health disparities, increase access to health care, and reduce health care costs. CHEER is partner with the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County in leading this initiative.