The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the availability of over $100 million in funding for up to 75 Community Transformation Grants. Created by the Affordable Care Act, these grants are aimed at helping communities implement projects proven to reduce chronic diseases–such as diabetes and heart disease. By promoting healthy lifestyles and communities, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease, these grants will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and lower health care costs.
Consistent with the law, these grants will focus on five priority areas: 1) tobacco-free living; 2) active living and healthy eating; 3) evidence-based quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol; 4) social and emotional wellness, such as facilitating early identification of mental health needs and access to quality services, especially for people with chronic conditions; and 5) healthy and safe physical environments.
Successful applicants must use evidence-based strategies and ensure that their activities not only have broad population impact, but also help address health disparities. Examples of projects that could qualify for grants include eliminating food deserts and increasing access to healthy food options, including efforts to improve school nutrition or bring healthier food to corner markets in urban areas. Other examples include promoting blood pressure and cholesterol screenings.