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Leveraging Health Funding

This post originally appeared on the Advocacy Advance blog. Learn more about Advocacy Advance, a collaboration of the League and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, here.

This week Advocacy Advance released its newest report, “Leveraging Health Funding for Active Transportation Investments,” (PDF) and held a webinar to talk about the new report. The report and webinar review the recent round of CDC awards in the area of prevention and provide examples of partnerships where transportation and health have worked together.

This fall the CDC awarded 193 awards totaling nearly $212 million to state, local, or tribal public health departments, and non-profit organizations or coalitions for projects that addresses prevention and wellness. Specifically, the funding programs aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity and to reduce the rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Active transportation has an important role to play as one of the solutions to create healthy communities.

Infographic courtesy of the Public Health Institute and the American Public Health Association. Click here to view the data sources and to download a poster sized PDF of this infographic.

Together, the recent funding programs from the CDC demonstrate different strategies by addressing population health (particularly highlighting interventions in communities of color, and communities with high-obesity rates); different interventions (including the built environment and health system improvements); and different geographies (large cities, tribal communities). The programs work together to pull together models of success that can be adapted and replicated in communities across the country. 

Download a PDF version of the report and the CDC Award information in Excel format

Download a PDF copy of the slides.

Here are 2 main takeaways from the report and webinar:

Numerous opportunities for collaboration

Though the CDC has already awarded its funds, there are numerous opportunities for collaboration. In the report, we went through the CDC’s six funding programs to provide a brief synopsis of each program’s goals, and where awarded project descriptions were provided, how active transportation was included.

For example, two of the funding programs, the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) and Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), emphasize the role of partnerships and community-based coalitions. Transportation agency staff and bicycling and walking advocates have the opportunity to leverage their expertise to assist awarded organizations to meet their goals to increase a community’s access to physical opportunities. Many of the proposed interventions included implementing community design/ built environment improvements, Safe Routes to School programs, and using joint-use agreements to increase access to local parks and open space.

The webinar featured a conversation about transportation and health partnerships, particularly with the experiences and advice from New Hampshire. Tim Blagden, Executive Director at theBike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire, noted that it’s important to be proactive and reach out. Some good places to start are contacting the state health department and organizations like the American Heart Association. Regina Flynn from the State Department of Health also spoke about the importance of creating non-traditional partnerships, and including members representing housing, refugee resettlement communities.

Additional funding opportunities are still available

Particularly of interest to transportation and planning agency staff, the CDC awarded five national non-profit organizations to help extend the reach of the prevention dollars. One of the awardees is a collaboration between the American Planning Association (APA) and theAmerican Public Health Association (APHA). APA an APHA is currently has an open request for proposals for their chapters and affiliates to receive funding to work on opportunities to further connect planning and health.  Though eligible applicants are only APA Chapters and APHA Affiliates, the collaboration between APA and APHA is an exciting opportunity to have a nationwide impact on creating models of how planning and health can work together to create healthy communities. An information call is scheduled for Next Tuesday, November 25 to learn more about this opportunity.

Similarly, the American Heart Association was awarded a similar award from the CDC and will conduct a similar request for proposal (details to be released in the near future).

To learn more details about all of the recent CDC awards and how active transportation partnerships are included, please download the full PDF report and an Excel sheet of CDC awards to find opportunities for collaboration.

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