Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Residents in Wards 7 and 8 will get the opportunity to design and implement potential solutions to improve health and wellness in their community.

The Sibley Memorial Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, announced Tuesday, Aug. 15 the launch of its Community Health Innovators in Residence Program.

The new initiative aims to improve the health status of underserved communities in the District of Columbia in months rather than the typical years of traditional health improvement projects.

“Sibley is 100 percent committed to improving lives of all residents in the District,” said Richard O. Davis, president and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital. “And what makes our commitment unique is Sibley’s culture of human-centered design, which is based on listening and understanding.

“We use design every day here at Sibley with our patients and families. I’m excited to partner with our community to be agents of change,” Davis said.

Under the program, up to four teams composed of residents and organizations in Wards 7 and 8 will be accepted into the first cohort, which will work alongside Sibley’s Innovation Hub to learn, design and implement solutions. The community health innovators will learn human-centered design from some of the leading innovators in health care.

Together, they will collaboratively test creative prototypes in the community to see which ideas are most effective, according to Sibley.

“The process is the same energetic and imaginative methods taught at Stanford and used by some of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech firms,” Sibley said in a statement. “Sibley’s efforts are among the first to bring this work to community health and well-being. The hospital’s Innovation Hub was the first such community hospital-based innovation hub in the nation.”

To inform and drive the work of the Community Health Innovators in Residence Program, Sibley will engage an advisory board of key stakeholders, including residents, organizations, health care, elected officials and Sibley leadership in an advisory and decision-making capacity.

The advisory board will be charged with informing community health focus areas, evaluating proposed prevention and wellness initiatives, building capacity within the community and engaging community residents around these efforts.

Earlier this year, Sibley convened a series of listening sessions with faith leaders, students, senior citizens and community leaders to discuss the health and wellness priorities of Wards 7 and 8 residents.

They said the common themes that emerged ranged from access to healthy fruits and vegetables to the impact that isolation has on an individual’s well-being.

Sibley invites residents and qualifying non-profit organizations serving Wards 7 and 8 to apply to the first cohort.

In addition to receiving coaching and guidance from leading industry designers and entrepreneurs, each resident-led cohort will receive up to $25,000 to help develop solutions and tackle projects related to health and wellness in their community.

For detailed information about the Community Health Innovators in Residence Program, including the application, visit

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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