HHS’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative
Community Awards Announcement
Frequently Asked Questions
March 16, 2010
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Communities Putting
Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative will have an important impact improving the
health of the American public by reducing chronic disease and promoting wellness.
• On Friday, March 19, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will
announce the community component/initiative of the CPPW initiative awarding of
$372.8 million to various communities around the country.
• The health issues that communities are being funded to tackle—nutrition, physical
activity, tobacco use, and exposure to tobacco smoke—are critical risk factors for
chronic diseases, the leading causes of premature death and disability in the United
• Obesity- and tobacco-related conditions not only threaten the Nation’s health, they
also contribute to billions of dollars more in medical spending each year. Each year
in the United States, tobacco use accounts for $96 billion in direct medical expenses,
and more than $147 billion is spent treating obesity-related illnesses.
• Without aggressive efforts to prevent and control chronic diseases—efforts embodied
in Communities Putting Prevention to Work—the rise in U.S. health care costs from
chronic disease will continue unchecked and an ever increasing number of Americans
will continue to suffer from tobacco- and obesity-related illness.
• The community awards will support community-based work through tested programs
and strategies that prevent chronic diseases and help Americans lead healthier lives.
• The Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative is investing $372.8 million
over two years to fund 44communities around the country -- cities, towns, rural areas,
and tribes. These communities will implement obesity- and/or tobacco-prevention
programs. These awards are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009.
• This total represents less than a $4 per-person investment ($3.65) in the funded
communities for each of the next two years.
• By comparison, food companies spend ten times that amount per capita (roughly $37)
on advertising alone each year, and tobacco companies spend roughly $43 per capita
annually to advertise and promote cigarettes.
• ARRA’s per-capita community investment represents only five-hundredths of one
percent of the $7,400 that the United States spends per person on health care each
• More than 50 million people, nearly one in six Americans, live in the funded
• As part of the application process, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) provided communities with a menu for selecting which programs and
practices to implement. The programs are based on proven and promising
• To ensure flexibility, local communities chose the best mix of policy changes and
programs for their residents and also chose how best to implement these
recommended interventions. This way, communities can respond to the unique health
needs of their residents.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is the goal of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW)
• Support evidence and practice-based community approaches for chronic disease
prevention and the promotion of wellness in selected communities (urban, rural,
towns and tribes) in order to prevent or reduce illnesses and deaths from chronic
• Reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide
positive, sustainable health change in communities by advancing policy, systems,
and environmental change approaches with a strategic focus on tobacco and
• CPPW is a wise investment of funds provided by the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Preventing chronic disease saves our country
money by reducing health care costs. This is a one cent per person per day
investment in funded communities while food and tobacco industries each spend
at least ten times this amount in the same communities.
2. How will Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative achieve this goal?
• Communities will implement a set of evidence- and practice-based interventions
related to increasing nutrition and physical activity and decreasing tobacco use.
This focus aims to achieve broad reach, high impact, and sustainable change.
• Communities were given a prescribed menu of strategies and interventions to
choose from, including:
• Tobacco usage bans (100-percent smoke free policies, tobacco-free
• Limit the availability of unhealthy food and drink
• Using evidence based pricing strategies that discourage consumption of
• Change relative prices of healthy vs. unhealthy items (for example,
through bulk purchase and procurement policies, and competitive pricing)
• Improve access to healthy food and beverages, such as offering incentives
to food retailers to locate or offer healthier choices in underserved areas
• Requiring daily quality physical education in schools; and daily physical
activity in after school and daycare settings
• Increase access to opportunities for physical activity through city
planning, zoning and transportation planning (for example, planning
policies that require provision of sidewalks, mixed use, and parks with
adequate crime prevention measures, and health impact assessments)
• Incentives for active transit
• Quitline and other cessation services
• Intensive media strategies to promote healthy food and beverage choices
and increased activity, and counter-advertising for tobacco use and
unhealthy food and beverage options
• These strategies will drive changes in policy, systems, and environments, which
will in turn drive changes in risk behaviors and, over the longer term, improve
• Community partnerships and leadership teams are key to the success of the
3. Why do the award amounts to the communities vary dramatically?
• The award amount per community was based upon the amount of funding
requested by the community, the mix of proposed interventions, population size,
and the ability to reduce health disparities.
4. Who or what office made decisions on grants? What were the selection criteria?
• CDC made funding decisions based on an objective review panel ranking of the
applications consistent with the evaluation criteria and funding preferences
published in the funding opportunity announcement for this program.
5. How will CDC ensure the success of the communities?
• There is a robust support plan to ensure funded communities are successful and
that the communities are able to evaluate the impact of their efforts. The plan
consists of a three-pronged approach: program support, community mentoring,
• To maintain the highest levels of quality control, CDC will provide tools,
guidance, and intensive technical assistance to communities; closely monitor
communities’ program performance and outcomes; and provide ongoing feedback
and support to help communities maximize the health impact of their projects.
6. How will CDC monitor the communities?
• Monitoring plan includes the following:
o Twice a year data collection using the Community Health Assessment and
Group Evaluation (CHANGE) tool.
o Collection of implementation cost information for each initiative, to
evaluate the process and outcomes of program activities.
o 120 days post award, communities must finalize a comprehensive
evaluation plan that is directly tied to the community action plan.
o Monthly calls with project officers. Project officer will monitor the
progress on the key output and outcome measures from the funded
• The key outcome measure is the degree to which the policy/environmental change
has been approved or enacted for each of the strategies.
• The monitoring and evaluation also monitors risk behavior change during the
funded period although most such changes are expected after the 24-month
7. What are the other components of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work
• The program, Communities Putting Prevention to Work, has four distinct but
• the Community Initiative (CDC),
• a States and Territories Policy and Environmental Change Initiative (CDC),
• a States Chronic Disease Self-Management Initiative (Administration on Aging),
• a National Prevention Media (CDC) and National Organizations Initiative (HHS).
8. What does Communities Putting Prevention to Work have to do with the original
goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?
• Without aggressive efforts to prevent and control chronic diseases, the rise in
health care costs will continue unchecked. Community-based work to create
environments that promote health is a best buy for the public.
• Nationally, tobacco use accounts for $96 billion in direct medical expenses each
year. Annual U.S. obesity-related medical spending is estimated at $147 billion.
• Investing in evidence-based strategies to reduce smoking and obesity is an
investment that makes sound economic sense.
9. Are you (local community) spending grant money for this media event?
Answer: (either yes or no) If yes, add: This is permitted under federal grant
regulations because it is a great way to spread the word about our efforts to help
our community develop healthy living habits that we know can make a
10. How do these grants fit into health care reform efforts?
• Prevention and wellness are an important part of cutting costs and improving the
health of Americans. Health reform will eliminate co-pays for preventive care
and includes other reforms that will help ensure Americans get the care they need
to stay healthy. These grants will also support these efforts. By using tested
methods for preventing obesity and tobacco use, these grants will help prevent
and control chronic disease and create environments that promote health. This
will help rein in health care costs and prevent disease in the first place, two key
issues in improving our health care system.