Last Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send its reconciliation recommendations that would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, to the Budget Committee. Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is asking organizations to share their community health prevention stories with policymakers.

During the 11/13 web forum Strengthening the Prevention Landscape: New CDC Grants and the Road Forward, each speaker emphasized the importance of national, state, and local partnerships to improve community health. Dr. Ursula Bauer, Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave an overview of six CDC grant programs through which $212 million dollars were awarded to 193 entities including states, cities, counties, tribes and tribal organizations, and national and community based organizations. All six grant programs, according to Dr. Bauer, address community health through multi-sectoral partnerships that focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes, “because public health can’t solve these problems alone.”

Dr. Giridhar Mallya, Director of Policy and Planning at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health gave examples of what those multi-sectoral partnerships look like in Philadelphia, noting the Get Healthy Philly initiative that partners across city agencies such as planning, schools, and public housing – and also partners with non-traditional community partners. Dr. Mallya discussed a CDC funded sodium reduction Healthy Chinese Take-Out Restaurant Initiative that partnered with local restaurants to improve community health by providing technical assistance and simple tools to restaurants that collectively serve over three million meals per year.

Another example of multi-sectoral partnership was shared by Daniella Gratale, Senior Manager of Advocacy at Nemours. The children’s health system focused on partnerships to address child health where children spend most of their time: in childcare and school settings. Gratale echoed other panelists in emphasizing the importance that partnerships play in improving community health – and further stressed the importance of sharing stories about program success with the public and policymakers. Nemours engages policymakers by inviting them to program launch events, ensuring involvement at project onset. Community partners go to the Capitol to share their successes with policymakers, and Nemours leadership will meet with policymakers to emphasize the importance of funding and grant programs to support community prevention. In this way, Nemours is illustrating and advocating for prevention from the community and leadership levels.

Attendees of the 11/13 web forum said that they were planning to communicate their prevention and equity efforts and partnerships to policymakers through meetings (27%), email communication (25%), visits (22%), and letters (18%). Over 40 organizations responded to TFAH’s call to action to submit letters to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Sign up for TFAH’s newsletter to stay up to date on this issue.

When attendees on the 11/13 web forum were asked what types of partners they are working with or planning to work with to sustain their prevention and equity efforts, 79% of respondents answered health systems/hospital providers, while 44% of respondents answered community-based. Organizers of the 11/13 web forum are partnering on a new web forum series on prevention and population health that launches on Thursday 10/15 with A New Road Forward: How Hospital, Public Health and Stakeholder Collaboration has Changed the Community Health Landscape. Register today to learn more about critical multi-sectoral collaborations to improve community health.

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