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A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
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Empowering women to live healthier lives!

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September 28, 2011
Contact: Valerie Borden
HHS Office on Women's Health

HHS awards $3 million in 2011 to communities to launch Phase II of a national initiative to improve the health of women and girls

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched Phase II of a national initiative entitled the Coalition for a Healthier Community (CHC). The Office on Women's Health (OWH) awarded grants in both phases of this program to improve community health policies and programs for women and girls. The communities selected in Phase II will address health disparities that affect women and girls, with the goal of producing community-wide behavior change. The program's ultimate goal is to improve the health and safety of women and girls living in these communities.

The new initiative is the second phase of the program, which was launched in 2010. In Phase I, OWH awarded a total of $1.6 million in grants to 16 coalitions, composed of local, regional, and national organizations; academic institutions; and public health departments. Each team was required to identify the health condition having the most adverse effect on the health and well-being of women and girls in their specific community. Most of the health issues identified by the coalitions were related to domestic violence, physical activity, and obesity. During Phase I, each grantee also developed five-year strategic plans to address the particular health condition identified in the community they served.

In Phase II, 16 coalitions competed for funding; 10 were selected. They will implement their strategic plans, which have goals and objectives linked to Healthy People 2020, a set of 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. The coalitions were each awarded approximately $300,000 a year over a period of five years to support their science-based health interventions targeting women, girls, or both. Wellness programs are one such intervention. They educate consumers on how to improve specific health behaviors, such as their diet and level of physical activity. The programs and services provided by each coalition will be carefully evaluated, so successes can be shared, adapted, or replicated by other communities.

"We know that communities have the knowledge and skills to solve their own challenges. By providing them with the resources to build strong coalitions, develop innovative programs, and then effectively implement and sustain them, we can help them improve the health of their populations. This program supports their efforts to do just that by reducing health disparities among women and girls," says Nancy Lee, M.D., HHS deputy assistant secretary for health (Women's Health).

Phase II awardees are:

  • Brandywine Counseling & Community Services, Inc. (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Domestic Violence Action Center (Honolulu, HI)
  • National Kidney Foundation (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Philadelphia Health and Education Corporation d/b/a Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation (Billings, Mont.)
  • The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Chicago, Ill.)
  • The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department (Olympia, Wash.)
  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

About the Office on Women's Health

The Office on Women's Health (OWH) was established in 1991 within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health of women. OWH leads the efforts of all the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'HHS agencies, institutes, and offices involved in women's health. The office develops innovative programs; educates health professionals, health organizations, and the public; and motivates behavior change in consumers and health professionals by disseminating health information.

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