Orchard Knob residents and Parkridge Medical Center leadership began working together to envision a healthier and more vibrant neighborhood in 2019. Hospital staff and residents invited other organizational partners to the table and the Orchard Knob Collaborative was formed.

The Orchard Knob Collaborative (OKC) is taking a 3-phase approach to community revitalization, focusing on physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, and healthy living. The main mission of the OKC is to improve the health and well-being of the community by addressing the social determinants of health.

In 2022, the OKC was awarded a $600,000 grant to start a pilot program aimed at expanding access to internet connectivity, as well as digital technology and services, to improve residents' health and quality of life.

“Inadequate and unsafe housing can lead to prolonged illness,” Parkridge Health System President & CEO Tom Ozburn said. “Ensuring that our neighbors who receive care from Parkridge return to homes that aid their recovery is essential, and it’s why we first started the Orchard Knob Collaborative. We’re excited by the way our initial partnerships have grown, and by this holistic Smart City approach to public health and quality of life.”

Working with the City of Chattanooga, staff members of Parkridge Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity, green | spaces of Chattanooga and Orchard Knob residents celebrated an act of service on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by planting 30 trees in the Historic Orchard Knob community.

The goal is to increase the number of people with home internet in Orchard Knob and supply in-home technologies, such as smart home upgrades from Habitat for Humanity, as well as services, such as increased access to telemedicine from Parkridge Health System.

Since the OKC's creation, 10 homes have been renovated, with five renovations in progress, more than 25 Food RX classes have been conducted, 100 trees have been planted, 1,000 snack bags have been delivered to neighborhood children, more than $70,000 in home renovation investments have been made and more than $150,000 have been raised.

OKC organizational partners include: Orchard Knob Neighborhood Association, Habitat for Humanity, Glass House Collective, green|spaces, Chattanooga Design Studio, YMCA, The Enterprise Center, EPB of Chattanooga, United Way of Chattanooga, and the City of Chattanooga.

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