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WDPH, Community Partners Awarded CDC REACH Grant

For Immediate Release: 2/27/2019 1:32 pm

The City of Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH) has received a 2018 REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for $780,648 a year for five years.

Worcester, the only municipality in Massachusetts to receive the grant, was one of just 31 recipients throughout the United States. WDPH is the fiduciary agent and lead agency. Funded partners include the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, the Family Health Center of Worcester, UMass Memorial Healthcare and the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center. The YWCA will serve as the fiduciary agent for the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester.

The project goal is to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest burden of chronic disease (i.e., hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity) through culturally tailored systematic interventions that address community conditions and impact access to care, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. The priority population for the grant is Latino Americans.

“This grant aligns well with our Community Health Improvement Plan which outlines a goal of health equity and includes priority areas such as access to care, cultural responsiveness, access to healthy food and physical activity,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “We thank the CDC for funding this important project and we look forward to working with the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester and all of the partners to continue improving the health of our City.”

WDPH will contribute its vast experience in project oversight and evidence-based community health strategies in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and community-clinical linkages as well as quality improvements.

The Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, a lead partner, will leverage its strong and committed partnerships with dozens of organizations to engage organizational leadership in stimulating policy change and maximize participation by members of the Latino community. The Family Health Center of Worcester, UMass Memorial Healthcare and the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center bring their history and expertise in improving health for the Latino population to strategies enhancing access to clinical and community services that promote health and prevent chronic disease.

“Through this project we are presented with a real opportunity to make an impact on health disparities and inequities in resources,” said Casey Burns, director of the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester. “The project is designed not only to improve the participation of the Latino community in evidence-based public health strategies but to create a shared leadership model that invests in assets.”

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