American Lung Association Awarded $800,000 to Help Create Healthier U.S. Communities

Affordable Care Act funding to improve health in communities nationwide, which can lower healthcare costs

(September 15, 2011)

On Tuesday, the American Lung Association was awarded a Federal grant of $800,000 to implement Expanding Smokefree Communities, a project that will promote tobacco-free living and healthy and safe physical environments by reducing tobacco use and promoting smokefree air policies in underserved communities and regions across the country.

This grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and lower health care costs.

 “As a national leader in promoting evidence-based tobacco control strategies, the American Lung Association is excited by this opportunity to expand the reach of the Community Transformation Grants program and ultimately reduce the burden of tobacco on our society,” said Bill Blatt, director of Tobacco Programs at the American Lung Association.

During this project, the American Lung Association will work to prevent and reduce tobacco use in rural and underserved communities by implementing evidence-based strategies such as reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, preventing and reducing tobacco use among youth and adults, and increasing the number and type of public venues with smokefree air policies.

The American Lung Association will work with its ten regional affiliates to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to selected communities nationwide. A leadership team in each of those communities will create an appropriate action plan with environmental, programmatic and infrastructure strategies to reduce tobacco use and prevent exposure to secondhand smoke.

The CTG program is focused on implementing evidence-based strategies in five areas: 1) tobacco-free living; 2) active living and healthy eating; 3) evidence-based quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol; 4) social and emotional wellness, such as facilitating early identification of mental health needs and access to quality services, especially for people with chronic conditions; and 5) healthy and safe physical environments. By promoting healthy lifestyles and communities, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease, CTGs will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and lower health care costs.

The American Lung Association is one of seven national networks of community-based organizations that are receiving awards totaling $4.2 million for the National Dissemination and Support Initiative of the CTG program. These funded organizations will help support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the CTG program in communities nationwide, including in rural and frontier areas and in those areas with health disparities.

There are two types of awards for organizations under this initiative - Dissemination and Acceleration:

  • Dissemination awards will support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the CTG program nationally. Funded organizations will engage and collaborate with governmental, private, and non-governmental sectors and work to disseminate CTG strategies within their national network of local affiliates, including reaching rural and frontier areas and those experiencing health disparities. Four (4) national networks received Dissemination awards.
  • Acceleration awards are intended to help spread CTG work across the country and in particular to help reach rural and frontier areas and areas with health disparities. Funded organizations will be awarding at least 50% of their funds to local affiliates to support local communities to assess and address CTG health priorities. Three (3) national networks received Acceleration awards, including the American Lung Association.

To learn more about Community Transformation Grants, visit
www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.