CA4Health as a Community Transformation Grant: From Grant Award to Implementation
In 2011, PHI was awarded a $5.9 million per year Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to represent the 42 California counties with populations of less than 500,000. As the program office, PHI was able to quickly hire leadership and staff, convene partners, execute contracts and MOUs, and get funds flowing so that work on the ground could begin. Over 3 years, PHI managed a set of topical experts, technical assistance providers, and evaluators to provide guidance, training, and resources to the local health departments to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes in their communities through this initiative, known as CA4Health.
Despite the Community Transformation Grant awards coming to an end two years earlier than expected, CA4Health counties made significant strides toward achieving the goals in each area of work. As a result of the local efforts, the total number of CA4Health-participating county residents with increased access to healthier beverage environments was 577,017; walkable and bikeable communities was 256,743; smoke-free multi-unit housing was 17,566; and chronic disease self-management programs was 263,272. The activities and efforts of CA4Health counties had an incredible impact on local communities throughout the state, but the story of CA4Health is more than just numbers. These communities were successful because they leveraged pre-existing resources, created non-traditional partnerships, strengthened new and old relationships, and facilitate the involvement of local youth to build healthier communities.