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More Musings on Community Transformation Grants June 1, 2011

Posted by tomwolff in : Uncategorized , add a comment

In my last post I told you about the upcoming Community Transformation Grants. (http://www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation/)

Here are some of my thoughts as I’ve listened and read about what people are saying on this topic:

This is the largest amount of $ we have seen for community prevention in a very long time– over $100 million next year and potentially $900 million over the next five years. So everyone is drooling.

Thanks goes to the Obama Administration for proposing it and to all who lobbied this through despite opposition.

But it is over promised and over committed money. All kinds of federal programs that are facing cut backs are being told that this single pot of $ is going to be their savior. This includes: substance abuse prevention programs, tobacco prevention programs, health disparity programs, food and fitness programs, and all programs funded under the Recovery Act. Clearly there will be winners and losers. So watching and influencing the process at the state level will be crucial.

Now comes the hard part. With only 75 entities to be funded we can be pretty sure that all 50 states will apply and will likely end up being 2/3 of the awardees.

So what is happening in the states? How much input are the state health departments and public health departments getting?  Will they look all across their states at the most successful programs addressing the needs in the RfP or will they choose to mainly include their own department funded programs that are facing budget cuts due to fewer state dollars.

Will the programs that get included address the needs of communities of color and other communities experiencing health inequities?  Will the voice of those most affected by the issues be included in the application? Usually we apply first, state our priorities, and then invite the community in later after we get funding. Will the process be different this time?

If these grants are to live up to their name of “Community Transformation”  and really transform communities (a bold stroke right there) they will need to look like the best community prevention programs that we have seen in recent years.

These exemplars are based on a healthy community model that requires:

serious community engagement and community power,

support of a broad community coalition

understanding health from a Social Determinants of Health perspective

aiming to create systems and policy change

addressing issues of social justice

shifting  from social service to social change models

Some resources that you may find helpful:

Building a Regional Health Equity Model from the Boston Public Health Commission

http://journals.lww.com/familyandcommunityhealth/Fulltext/2011/01001/Building_a_Regional_Health_Equity_Movement__The.6.aspx

A recent Tom Wolff & Associates Collaborative Solutions Newsletter http://tomwolff.com/collaborative-solutions-newsletter-summer-10.htm#center

The Community Tool Box – always a great resource http://ctb.ku.edu

And of course : The Power of Collaborative Solutions  www.tomwolff.com

Please share with all of us what you are seeing in your community? Your state? Add your comments above.

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