January 26, 2013
The N.C. Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville has aligned with the Buncombe County Department of Health (BCDH) to create and conduct a winnability assessment with community leaders from eleven North Carolina counties. The NCCHW received an $18,000 contract to implement this part of the Region 2 Community Transformation Grant Project (CTGP).
The CTGP was defined and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The project enables states and other large government entities to design and implement community-level programs that prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In the United States, 7 out of 10 deaths are caused by chronic diseases each year. Seventy-five cents of every dollar spent on medical costs in this country is being used to treat chronic diseases and associated risk factors, said the HHS.
The CTGP funding supports state and large local government agencies, tribes and territories, nonprofit organizations and communities across the country to implement evidence-based strategies. The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDHP) applied for funding on behalf of the 98 counties in North Carolina with health departments that serve fewer than 500,000 people.
BCDH was one of ten lead public health agencies across North Carolina to receive CTGP funding through the NCDPH. The award focuses on the eleven counties of Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford and Yancey. CTGP strategies aim at implementing policy, systems change and environmental changes that support tobacco-free living, active living, healthy eating and high impact evidence-based clinical preventative services over a period of five years.
The NCCHW was responsible for collecting data from each county and citing key opportunities within those counties. Barriers in each county were also identified and analyzed, with the NCCHW identifying the degrees of alignment and differences on nine priority strategies.
Dr. Rebecca Reeve, director of research programs at the NCCHW said, “The data the N.C. Center for Health and Wellness collected will help with strategic thinking and action priorities over the next four years. The analysis of this new primary data is a piece of the puzzle CTGP and community leaders will use to move prevention work forward. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the suffering and cost of preventable chronic disease while ensuring more years of healthy life for everyone.”
The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness is a leading catalyst for the prevention of chronic health conditions through the promotion of healthy living among North Carolinians of all ages with an emphasis on groups with health disparities.