The CDC released their grant guidance for the upcoming Community Transformation Grants a couple of weeks ago.  The objective of the grant is to support the implementation (and evaluation) of evidence-based community preventive health activities to reduce chronic disease rates, prevent the development of secondary conditions, address health disparities, and develop a stronger evidence base for effective prevention programming.  Counties with a population of over 500,000 (Maricopa, Pima) can apply for grants on their own while smaller counties need to apply as a coalition along with their state health department.  This grant application has a funding range of between $500K – $10M per year and 50% of the funding must be subcontracted to partners.

There are two types of applications: “Capacity Building” (broad policy, environmental, programmatic and infrastructure changes); and “Implementing Interventions to Create Healthier Communities” (mandatory areas are Tobacco Free Living, Active Living and Health Eating, and Increased Use of High Impact Quality Clinical Preventive Services).  Maricopa County signed a letter of intent this week to apply for “Capacity Building”, Pima will go for “Implementing Interventions to Create Healthier Communities” and we will apply along with the other 13 counties for the Implementation grant.

We’re still in the planning stages, but our collaborative proposal with the 13 counties would focus on: 1) Increasing the availability of healthful foods in institutional settings, workplaces etc.; 2) Improving statewide nutrition and physical activity; 3) Increasing physical activity opportunities in schools; 4) Implementing policies to support breastfeeding in workplaces etc.; 5) Increasing baby friendly hospitals; 6) Incentivizing the purchase of fruits and vegetables; and 7) Increasing bicycling and walking for pleasure and transportation.

There will be objectives under each of these goals, but you get the idea.  The general approach is to use incentives and partnerships to drive change, not regulations.  Final drafts for the grant application are due July 8 and the submission deadline is July 15.