The TVA Connected Communities Orchard Knob project was born from a public-private collaborative partnership founded in 2019 …
“Housing is making people sick,” said former Parkridge Medical System CEO Tom Ozburn. And addressing neighborhood health disparities through a multifaceted approach to better meet the needs of the community’s roughly 1,000 residents has been the objective of the Orchard Knob Collaborative (OKC) ever since.
In 2022, the project grew through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)’s newly launched Connected Communities Pilot Program funding and welcomed Project Manager Katherlyn Geter. Through additional support from Connect Humanity and DollarWise, Project Coordinator Freddie Brooks joined the team in 2023.
… So what are the goals for Connected Communities?
The Orchard Knob Collaborative believes a vibrant, thriving, and healthy community is one where access to resources is prioritized. From WiFi for connectivity to HVAC unit and other home upgrades, the Connected Communities project takes an all-encompassing approach to health that includes addressing in-home needs and eliminating barriers to access.
OKC works to direct investments from Parkridge and partners like The Enterprise Center to neighborhood priorities, addressing community health through improvements to physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, and healthy living.
From Tech Goes Home to Telehealth:
The OKC leverages the collective support of partner organizations — including Parkridge Health System, The Enterprise Center, EPB, green|spaces, and Habitat for Humanity — to tackle the whole picture of health and wellness in the historically underserved neighborhood. By addressing the equity gap in technological connectivity alongside that of social and environmental factors, the OKC aims to help deliver tangible improvements that residents can see on a daily basis.
The Enterprise Center’s role is to provide Tech Goes Home courses and devices to neighborhood residents, serve as a community partner through the roles of Katherlyn Geter and Freddie Brooks, and to find and leverage continued funding opportunities to sustain the project.
Meet the stakeholders & Partners
Growing access to community and neighborhood-level resources
Providing 1,000 free telehealth appointments
Provider of Connected Communities Pilot Grant funding
Increasing digital literacy + device access through Tech Goes Home