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Who’s around the table?
Nationally, the government’s role in community public health has included the provision of health insurance to low-income individuals and senior populations through the Medicaid and Medicare social programs. Recently this role has expanded through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to providing health insurance regulations and standards aimed to increase access, affordability and quality of coverage for all Americans. Over the coming months and years, as the rollout of the ACA progresses, this will contribute to changing the landscape of community health, as funding becomes available for community needs assessments, and stricter regulations come into effect surrounding workplace wellness programs.
The Center for Disease Control’s Division of Community Health (CDC-DCH) Programs are worth noting. Four of the main CDC-DCH programs include:
- Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW): CPPW is a locally driven initiative supporting 50 communities to tackle obesity and tobacco use.
- Community Transformation Grants (CTG): The CTG Program helps communities design and carry out local programs that prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Healthy Communities Program (HCP): CDC’s Healthy Communities Program works with communities through local, state and territory, and national partnerships to prevent chronic diseases and reduce health gaps.
- Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH): Through REACH, CDC supports awardee partners that establish community-based programs and culturally-tailored interventions to eliminate health disparities among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.
At a local level, state, city, county health departments also play a crucial role in shaping community health outcomes through policy initiatives, research and service provision.
Corporate & Private Foundations
Foundations play a pivotal role in community health improvement. First, private foundations provide essential funding to population health initiatives, and the large scale of this funding has the ability to shape the direction of population health policy and community development. Secondly, corporate foundations provide an avenue for large businesses to focus their philanthropic activity and corporate social responsibility into areas that complement their business strategy. Foundations are often members of multi-stakeholder coalitions, and may fund the research that leads to the best practices and evidence-based initiatives that are implemented by diverse stakeholders at the community level.
The community development function within the Federal Reserve promotes fair and informed access to financial markets for communities and individuals, recognizing the particular needs of underserved populations. It does so by convening stakeholders to collaborate on community and economic development initiatives, conducting and sharing applied research, and identifying emerging issues.