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New Affordable Care Act initiative helps create healthier communities, fight chronic disease

Article / Review by on September 27, 2011 – 10:14 pmNo Comments

New Affordable Care Act initiative helps create healthier communities, fight chronic disease

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today grants to 61 states and communities with over 120 million residents to fight chronic disease, which is the leading cause of death in Americans. Created by the Affordable Care Act, Community Transformation Grants help states and communities tackle the root causes of chronic disease such as smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Grantees will use these funds, which total more than $103 million, to transform where their residents live, work, play, and go to school so that they can lead healthier, more productive lives.

Chronic diseases are responsible for 75 percent of health care costs in the United States. The root causes of chronic disease are often related to economic, social, and physical factors such as tobacco use or a lack of places to exercise. The Community Transformation Grants awarded today will help states and communities address these challenges by supporting prevention programs proven to make a positive impact on health.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

“Good health begins at home and in our own communities. The Affordable Care Act is empowering Americans across the country to truly transform their communities by investing in programs that make us all healthier,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These grants will offer communities the opportunity to both improve Americans’ health and control health care spending by avoiding costly, chronic diseases in the first place.”

All grantees will work to address the following priority areas: 1) tobacco-free living; 2) active living and healthy eating; and 3) quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Grantees may also focus on creating healthy and safe environments. Grantees will have an additional focus on reducing health disparities since, in addition to lacking access to the health care they need, many lower–income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and other underserved populations often have higher rates of disease.

Grantee activities include:

  • Implementation – Thirty-five grantees will implement proven interventions to help improve health and wellness. Funding amounts range from $500,000 to $10 million depending on population size and scope of project.
  • Capacity Building – Twenty-six grantees will work to build capacity by laying a solid foundation for sustainable community prevention efforts. Funding amounts range from $147,000 to $500,000 depending on population size and scope of project.

Awards are distributed among state and local government agencies, tribes and territories, and non-profit organizations. Awards went to grantees in 36 states, including seven tribal organizations and one territory. These grants are expected to run for five years.

“Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are taking a devastating toll on America’s health,” said Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will administer the grants. “This initiative will build on successful programs that have helped people lead healthier lives and will enable communities and states to improve the healthy choices for their residents.”

Earlier this month, HHS announced awards to seven national networks of community-based organizations that will help support, disseminate, and amplify the work done in Community Transformation Grant states and communities. The networks will engage community members in identifying solutions to improve health using community-based prevention strategies that work and can be models for other locations.

The Community Transformation Grants are part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to address the health and well-being of our communities through initiatives such as the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign and HHS’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. They will further amplify the efforts of Million Hearts, an initiative announced earlier this month by HHS to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years. The Prevention and Public Health Fund, as part of the Affordable Care Act, helps support these grants and other initiatives designed to provide States and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living.

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National Dissemination and Support Initiative

Funded National Networks

The National Dissemination and Support Initiative of the Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program will support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the CTG program in communities nationwide, including rural and frontier areas and in those areas with health disparities. Seven (7) national networks of community-based organizations received a total of $4.2 million under two separate categories of funding —Dissemination and Acceleration.

Dissemination grantees will support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the CTG program nationally. Funded organizations will engage and collaborate with governmental, private, and non-governmental sectors and work to disseminate CTG strategies within their national network of local affiliates, including reaching rural and frontier areas and those experiencing health disparities. Four (4) national networks received Dissemination awards:

  • The American Public Health Association is funded $300,000 to disseminate and amplify successful program models and activities in the areas of tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, clinical and other preventive services, social and emotional wellness, and healthy and safe physical environments among national partners and members, and accelerate the spread of CTG strategies in communities nationwide by utilizing their existing network of 53 state and regional affiliates. The Association intends to focus this work on communities with less than 500,000 persons.
  • The Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership, a minority serving organization, is funded $300,000 to disseminate strategies addressing tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, clinical and other preventive services, social and emotional wellness, and healthy and safe physical environments among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders nationwide.
  • The Community Anti-Drug Coalition is funded $300,000 to address tobacco use, heart disease, and stroke by disseminating community training strategies regarding tobacco-free living nationwide.
  • The National Farm to School Network at Occidental College is funded $300,000 to address childhood obesity rates by supporting access to and interest in healthy food and farm-to-school initiatives in low-income communities and communities of color nationwide.

Acceleration awards are intended to help spread CTG work across the country and in particular to help reach rural and frontier areas and areas with health disparities. Funded organizations are required to award at least 50% of their funds to local affiliates to support local communities to assess and address CTG health priorities. Three (3) national networks received Acceleration awards:

  • The American Lung Association is funded $800,000 to address the areas of tobacco-free living and healthy and safe physical environments by supporting smoke-free communities in underserved areas within several states across the country.
  • The National REACH Coalition, a minority serving organization, is funded $900,000 to reach communities through a national dissemination and intervention project to transform local service paradigms and improve health. The Coalition will address a full range of policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure strategies in the areas of tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, clinical and other preventive services, social and emotional wellness, and healthy and safe physical environments—with a primary focus on African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaskan Native populations.
  • YMCA of the USA is funded $1,300,000 to advance policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure strategies related to tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, clinical and other preventive services, social and emotional wellness, and healthy and safe physical environments, with a focus on serving African-American and Hispanics/Latinos nationwide.

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The Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program will support community-level efforts to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
 
Community Transformation Grants (CTGs)

The Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program will support community-level efforts to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. By promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease, these grants will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

Approximately $103 million in prevention funding has been awarded to 61 states and communities serving approximately 120 million Americans. These awards are distributed among state and local government agencies, tribes and territories, and state and local non-profit organizations within 36 states, including seven tribes and one territory. At least 20 percent of grant funds will be directed to rural and frontier areas.

National Dissemination and Support Initiative

The National Dissemination and Support Initiative of the Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program will support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the CTG program in communities nationwide, including rural and frontier areas and in those areas with health disparities. Seven (7) national networks of community-based organizations received a total of $4.2 million for this initiative.

 

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For more information about how the Prevention and Public Health Fund is helping promote prevention in every state, visit www.HealthCare.gov/news/factsheets/prevention02092011a.html 

To learn more about the Community Transformation Grant program, including a complete list of the 61 funded states and communities and the work being done by each grantee, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation 

For an overview fact sheet about the Community Transformation Grant program, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/09/community09272011a.html 

For more information about how the Community Transformation Grant program is addressing health disparities, visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/09/disparities09272011a.html 

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
** More information at USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

HHS

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