Dear Campaign Advocate,
Please read below for an important opportunity for communities across the country to apply for competitive grants totaling $373 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for interventions that reduce obesity, such as active transportation. Communities engaged in Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) Campaign for Active Transportation may be particularly well poised to apply for these grants.
On September 17, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new program: Communities Putting Prevention to Work. Thirty to forty communities will receive a total of $373 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) dollars through this competitive grant program to support interventions that reduce obesity (through improved physical activity and nutrition) and/or reduce tobacco use. Communities can apply for either focus area or both. This landmark opportunity is aimed at mobilizing community resources toward broad-based policy, systems, organizational and environmental changes. The application places an emphasis on communities demonstrating effective coalitions, and notes that special consideration should be given to the inclusion of populations disproportionately affected by chronic diseases.
Lead Applicants: Local and State Health Departments
- Letter of Intent Deadline: October 30, 2009
- Application Deadline: December 1, 2009
The Opportunity for Bike/Ped and Health Officials: Communities Putting Prevention to Work provides an important opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian professionals, enthusiasts, and advocates, as well as health officials, to act quickly to get your city or state to:
- Apply for the funding;
- Educate the health department about the range of bike/ped interventions that can be included in your application and action plan; and
- Include your organization as a partner in the effort.
RTC has worked with our partners at America Bikes and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to prepare a list of sample bike/ped activities that fit within the five categories of evidence-based interventions that are required as part of this CDC application. We encourage you to review these sample activities and assess which would work well in your community. Funds are available to make these projects a reality, so it is in your interest to work with your health department to develop the bike/ped aspects of the CDC application for obesity prevention, and to demonstrate how your organization can be a resource.
Act Now to Contact Your Health Department and City Officials: Don’t wait! Health departments are making decisions now about whether to apply, and what to propose in their grant applications.
- Populations greater than 500,000: If you live in a city or county with a population of 500,000 people or more, your local city or county health department will be the lead applicant on the grant. Contact the health department staff person who is the lead on physical activity or obesity. In addition, contact your mayor and city council members to urge them to ask the health department to apply for this grant with a focus on bike/ped to increase physical activity.
- Populations less than 500,000: If you live in a city, county, or community with a population of less than 500,000 people, then your state department of health will be the lead applicant. States can only choose two communities throughout the whole state to sponsor, so it will be important to reach out soon. Work with your local health department, mayor or members of the board of supervisors to encourage them to reach out to the state department of health to include your community in the state’s application.
- Tribal Applicants: If you live in a tribal area, you should work with the health department lead staff on physical activity or obesity to prepare the application. Tribes are permitted to apply directly.
Application Focus: The CDC Request for Proposals notes that the "key to the success of this initiative, Communities Putting Prevention to Work, will be to implement community-wide policies, systems, and environmental changes that reach across all levels of the socio-ecological model and include the full engagement of the leadership in city government, boards of health, schools, businesses, community and faith-based organizations, community developers, transportation and land use planners, parks and recreation officials, health care purchasers, health plans, health care providers, academic institutions, foundations, other Recovery Act-funded community activities, and many other community sectors working together to promote health and prevent chronic diseases. Funded programs need to build on, but not duplicate current federal programs as well as state, local, or community programs and coordinate fully with existing programs and resources in the community."
Please note that construction and research are not eligible activities.
For additional information or questions, please contact RTC Director of Research Dr. Thomas Gotschi at firstname.lastname@example.org.