Six state and local health departments from across the country were selected today to receive funding to address a health challenge specific to the community as part of an awards program supported by APHA. The awards, ranging from $25,000 to $40,000, build on APHA’s goal to strengthen local public health department’s capacity to improve policy, a key tenant of community-based health improvement efforts.
The health departments, selected from a pool of 121 applicants, include: Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge Mass.; Kane County Health Department, Aurora, Ill.;Manatee County Health Department, Bradenton, Fla.; Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Public Health — Seattle and King County, Wash.; and the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health and Human Services, San Carlos, Ariz. A more detailed description can be found here.
“We are honored to have been chosen to receive this award,” said Paul Kuehnert, executive director of the Kane County Health Department. “Our innovative policy implementation initiative — the Kane County Planning Cooperative — will engage and educate policymakers, planning and development staff, and members of the public in Kane County regarding the integrated health, transportation and land use policies in Kane’s 2040 Master Plan.”
Kane County’s $40,000 award will be used to accelerate ongoing chronic disease prevention initiatives in the community such as expanding bike- and walk-friendly paths and planting more community gardens.
“Policy initiatives are some of the most cost-effective tools for improving population health, and we are pleased to be able to support these six health departments’ efforts to develop and test new policy approaches to our nation’s most pressing public health challenges,” said Caroline Fichtenberg, director of APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy.
The awards program was also supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative. APHA will work closely with the health departments throughout the funding period to ensure goals and objectives are being achieved.