CDC Awards $7 Million for Pilot Project to Advance Health Equity

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $7 million over two years to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to fund a pilot project that will identify up to 50 high-burden communities working to advance health equity by addressing social determinants of health.

CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) awarded funds for this pilot project through the Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services Through National Partnerships (CDC-RFA-OT18-1802) cooperative agreement.

The purposes of the cooperative agreement are to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure; ensure a competent, current, and connected public health system; and improve the delivery of the 10 essential public health services.

Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and outcomes.

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Differences in these conditions have contributed to persistent chronic disease disparities in the United States among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, limiting opportunities for members of some groups to be healthy.

“Chronic diseases touch every American, in one way or another,” said Karen Hacker, M.D., M.P.H., director of  CDC’s NCCDPHP. “This important pilot project will help us better understand strategies to advance health equity and reduce the immense burden of chronic disease.”

The pilot project will engage high-need communities that have made a difference in the social determinants of health through local programs and policies, with support from multi-sector partnerships. It will focus on five areas of social determinants of health directly linked to chronic disease:

  • Built environmenthuman-made surroundings that influence overall community health and individual behaviors that drive health
  • Community-clinical linkages: connections made among health care systems and services, public health agencies, and community-based organizations to improve population health
  • Food insecurity: an economic and social condition characterized by limited or uncertain access to adequate and nutritious food
  • Social connectedness: the degree to which individuals or groups of individuals have and perceive a desired number, quality, and diversity of relationships that create a sense of belonging and being cared for, valued, and supported
  • Tobacco-free policy: population-based preventive measures to reduce tobacco use and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.
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Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading cause of death and disability across the nation and the leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion annual health care costs. Some groups—including racial and ethnic minorities, those living in poverty, and people in certain parts of the country—are disproportionately impacted by the burden of chronic conditions.

CDC’s NCCDPHP strives to make healthy people living in healthy communities a reality. A strategic priority for NCCDPHP is to advance health equity by addressing the social determinants of health. For information on NCCDPHP’s strategic framework and work to address the social determinants of health, visit

For more information on how CDC addresses health equity through its programs, , tools and resources, and leadership, visit

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