SPOKANE, WA— Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) was awarded a grant of $931,815 to address obesity challenges in six eastern Washington counties over the next two years.
This grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Community Transformation Grants (CTG) to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending in small communities.
“INHS has had a long time commitment to the region’s health and wellness,” said Emily Fleury, a director at INHS overseeing the grant. “With obesity on the rise throughout our state and region, we collaborated with community partners to develop an obesity prevention strategy that starts in the early childhood education setting surrounding children with a healthy environment and plenty of access to physical activity and proper nutrition.”
By focusing on where people live, work, learn and play, the CTG program is expected to improve the health of more than four out of 10 U.S. citizens—about 130 million Americans.
Lead agency INHS is coordinating the efforts of five cross-sector partners and 21 regional coalition members in the implementation of the “Start Healthy. Start Now.” initiative. Collaborating partners include Community Minded Enterprises, Empire Health Foundation, Spokane Regional Health District, Step UP and Go and Washington State University’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of Eastern Washington.
The obesity prevention initiative Start Healthy. Start Now. will bring health promotion and child development training, technical assistance, educational resources and system and policy changes to a high-need population in Spokane, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Whitman and Adams counties.
Start Healthy. Start Now. is focused on more than 50,000 children, families, licensed child care staff and early childhood educators and the families of child care staff and early childhood educators in the six-county region.
The initiative is designed to affect measurable changes in three of the five Community Transformation Grant outcome measures (healthy nutrition, physical activity emotional well-being and mental health) with a research-based assumption that changes in these outcome measures will impact a fourth outcome measure (weight) over time.
Overall, HHS awarded approximately $70 million in prevention grants to 40 awardees focused on improving the health of small communities across the nation. Administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CTG Program is a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative launched in 2011 and funded through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. These new funds will support areas with fewer than 500,000 people in neighborhoods, school districts, villages, towns, cities, and counties. Awardees represent organizations committed to improving health from a multitude of sectors.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund, as part of the Affordable Care Act, is supporting the CTG program and other initiatives designed to expand and sustain the necessary capacity to prevent chronic diseases, detect them early, manage conditions before they become severe and provide states and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living.
To learn more about the Community Transformation Grant Program, including a list of all awardees, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.