Application deadlines for six new funding programs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are coming (July 22 and 23). For years, prevention supporters have been saying that to make our nation healthier, we must invest in changing our communities so they become places that promote health, access to healthy food, and enable people to walk, bike and exercise safely. We must also build coalitions that bring government, healthcare providers and community organizations together to advance prevention.
Now is our chance. The new CDC funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) provide a great opportunity to put these ideas into practice.
Prevention Institute has put together a checklist outlining some key elements and strategies to further leverage the focus on community-clinical linkages in the FOAs. The checklist highlights opportunities to improve community determinants of health through community-clinical linkages, especially in low-income communities and communities of color facing the greatest inequities in health outcomes. The strategies include offering “green prescriptions” for interventions like walking or eating fruits and vegetables, using mapping technology to plot data on disease incidence and community conditions, and expanded use of community health workers to help residents collectively address local conditions.
Since partnerships are critical to success, we urge applicants to fill out our “application tracker.” This simple form will help applicants connect with each other to explore the potential for collaboration. We will share the information we gather with all those who fill out the form.
Finally, as you prepare your application or launch your funded initiative, we urge you to heed one of the lessons from previous efforts and develop a robust plan for communicating with the public and elected officials about your successes. We’ll need to cultivate strong legislative champions if we hope to continue and expand these programs. The best way to do that is for senators and representatives to hear from their constituents about the exciting work going on in their states and districts.
As always, thanks for your efforts. Together, we can build a system of health and prevention that makes our communities and our nation stronger and healthier.