PICH In and REACH Out to Support Prevention Funding!
Prevention and the Prevention and Public Health Fund have come under attack every year since the fund was created, despite the positive effect of prevention on the health of communities across the country. With legislators in their home districts until Congress reconvenes on September 8, it’s a prime time to demonstrate how important prevention is—through the power of example.
Let’s remind legislators of the outstanding prevention work that is engendered by programs like REACH and PICH, which have become the primary sources of community prevention funding since Community Transformation Grants were defunded in 2014. REACH, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, addresses health inequities through culturally-appropriate, community-based interventions. PICH, Partnerships to Improve Community Health, advances better health and wellness through local, multi-sector coalitions, in order to reduce the burden of chronic disease.
Examples of successful community prevention initiatives to discuss with legislators include:
- In Douglas County, KS, a multi-sector coalition funded by PICH is working to prevent and reduce chronic disease by providing greater access to local fruits and vegetables in schools and clinics; implementing active transportation initiatives and expanding “safe routes” to support physical activity; and incorporating electronic cigarettes into smoke-free policies.
- In Massachusetts, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center utilized REACH funding to engage local Latino communities across New England through community-based systems of care and education initiatives in an effort to eliminate health disparities related to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
- In Michigan, PICH funding is supporting a multi-sector collaboration of tribal leaders and local agencies to address high rates of chronic disease among the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians by creating healthier environments like tobacco-free worksites and improved outdoor recreation areas, and increasing the availability of healthier food and beverages, among other initiatives.
- Using a food systems approach and REACH funding, Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, Parity in Nutrition Access, and other local organizations in Hawaii are addressing food insecurity among Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Learn about your community’s REACH initiatives and PICH initiatives, as well as Prevention and Public Health Fund investments in your state.
Here’s how to support prevention programs like these:
• Connect with your representatives. Send a letter to your legislators using our simple online tool, or attend a town hall meeting. Tell them that prevention works -- and is saving lives and money right now, where you live. Be sure to add a paragraph detailing community prevention success stories where you live so that your letter is tailored to the work happening locally.
• Connect with the media. Pen a letter to the editor, Op-ed, or commentary for your local paper or news website. To help you get started, check out our Media Advocacy Toolkit, which includes advice on communicating with the media, a sample op-ed and best practices for writing op-eds and letters to the editor.
Congress faces major funding decisions when it returns from summer recess. PICH and REACH, and other community prevention programs, are reducing the burden of disease and injury, and achieving health and wellness in communities across the country by making healthy living easier and more affordable through improvements in where people work, live, learn, pray and play. Let’s PICH in and REACH out for prevention!