About Us

People First is a partnership.

In 2017, Atrium Health and YMCA of Greater Charlotte entered into a five-year commitment to community health. Leaders identified social innovation as one approach to solving issues like health disparities, improving access to care and behavioral health care. The Atrium Health Innovation Engine team and the YMCA got to work brainstorming what “social innovation” meant for this partnership. Understanding that location has such a big impact on health, the two organizations wanted to try a neighborhood-based approach.

The community of Druid Hills agreed to join the initiative we envisioned “People First" - a neighborhood-based approach to health. People First seeks to improve the health and well being of residents and the community by increasing health equity and addressing health disparities.


The Partners

Druid Hills, Charlotte, NC | The historic Druid Hills neighborhood is located north of Uptown Charlotte. The neighborhood has undergone many changes throughout its history and is now experiencing a renaissance due to the hard work of its residents and their ability to form key partnerships. Druid Hills is the site of major redevelopment including Camp North End. Once used to produce Model Ts and Army missiles, this 76-acre historic industrial site now serves as a hub for creativity and innovation in the heart of Charlotte’s North End Smart District.

Atrium Health | Atrium Health is one of the leading healthcare organizations in the Southeast and one of the most comprehensive, not-for-profit systems in the country. Its mission is to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing--for all. Through human-centered design and other methodologies, its Innovation Engine focuses on what will create future value for the organization and its community.

YMCA Greater Charlotte | The focus of the YMCA is nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and giving back and providing support to its neighbors. The organization’s vision is to connect and engage people to enhance lives and build community.


A new way to improve health

People First is a new model for engaging with communities. People First will begin to address root causes of health disparities through a new model of community engagement, one which seeks to build trust and relationships with communities.

Neighborhood-powered innovation will improve health and wellness to address: preventing and managing chronic disease, improving behavioral health, improving access to care, reducing violence, and eliminating health disparities.


Become a People First Neighborhood

If your neighborhood is interested in becoming a future People First neighborhood, contact us using the form below.

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