Healthy Savannah and YMCA Receive $5.1M in Continued CDC Funding for Health Equity

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Sept. 21, 2023 - PRLog -- (SAVANNAH, GA) Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia have been awarded $1,021,899 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first year of a new five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant. A total of $5,108,495 in REACH funding over the next five years is intended to help improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among Black and Hispanic populations in Savannah and Chatham County's low-wealth neighborhoods.

"CDC is excited to announce this new REACH funding to 41 communities across 27 states and the District of Columbia," said Terry O'Toole, PhD, MDiv, program development and evaluation branch chief in CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. "With this funding, organizations will plan and carry out local, culturally-appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among racial and ethnic minority groups where health gaps remain. REACH intends to improve health where people live, learn, work, and play."

The local organizations are to receive $719,008/year during the five year period to continue health equity initiatives in areas of nutrition and physical activity. The remaining $302,891/year will be used to broaden adult immunization awareness and to support efforts to reduce health disparities relating to chronic conditions.

The organizations are currently winding up an initial REACH grant of $3.4 million bestowed in 2018 to foster sustainable health equity among Black residents in Savannah's and Chatham County's low-wealth neighborhoods. Over the five-year grant period ending September 30, the agencies have engaged with more than 200 local organizations to help close the equity gap in areas of nutrition, physical activity, and clinical linkages.

The new core grant ($719,008/year for five years) will continue funding objectives of health equity in nutrition and physical activity with the addition of breastfeeding awareness and support as a new area of focus. The administrators will also continue to support clinical linkages that help connect the community with those resources by supporting awareness and facilitating the use of HERO Help Me and similar databases.

A new supplemental grant ($302,891/year for five years) will replace and redefine the initiatives of a 2021 supplemental grant ($401,000/ year) that helped raise awareness, acceptance and availability of COVID and flu adult immunizations. The new grant will fund efforts to educate and promote the importance of a wider range of adult immunizations in general among racial and ethnic minority populations and support reducing health disparities in chronic conditions of hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
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