January 17, 2014
This week, the 2014 omnibus spending bill passed the House and Senate and is now headed to President's Obama's desk. Now that the dust has started to settle, we want to provide a closer look at what it means for prevention in 2014.
First the good news. As we reported earlier this week, the bill does not eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, our nation's largest source of dedicated prevention funding -- despite the flurry of media reports to the contrary. The bill also provides $80 million in new Community Prevention Grants to help communities build multi-sector partnerships to improve community health.
Unfortunately, there is no specific funding for the Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program in 2014. Instead, money has been allocated to the CDC's Diabetes and Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention programs. While many questions remain to be answered about this shift in funding allocations, what is clear is that the CTG efforts are making a difference right now in communities across the country. With their focus on equity, multi-sector partnerships, community engagement, and linkages between healthcare and community health, these grants embody a new paradigm and vision of health and prevention, and play an important role in shifting the health system to promote health and wellness, in the first place.
Moving forward, it's critical that we work together to maintain this vision, and not overlook the valuable infrastructure that has already been built. Transforming communities to achieve greater health, safety and equity for everyone will not happen by addressing one disease or condition at a time: The right community solutions will solve many problems. While the name may change, now it is more important than ever that we stand up for community, and for transformation.
There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered. We will keep you posted as more information unfolds and as we determine the actions we must take together to achieve impact.