The Bernalillo County Office of Environmental Health has been awarded $497,353 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use local policy to prevent chronic disease in the county--especially in high poverty areas like the South Valley and parts of the International District. “There is a direct correlation between poverty and poor health. This grant will afford Bernalillo County a cutting-edge opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” says County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins.
The Community Transformation Grant (CTG) funds the “Collective Impact for Neighborhood and County Health” project. Sixty-one states and communities nationwide have been awarded Community Transformation grants. With a third of the population of the state, Bernalillo County rates fairly well in comparison to other counties in the state with regard to overall chronic disease burden. However, upon closer examination two areas of the county--the South Valley and International District--have much higher rates of chronic disease mortality than other parts of Bernalillo County. These areas are more heavily populated with Hispanics and have higher rates of poverty. The Native American population in Bernalillo County, both on and off the reservation, also suffers disproportionately from poverty and a resulting greater burden of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
The Community Transformation Grant offers a two-phase approach to tackling health disparities: capacity building and policy implementation. Bernalillo County has received a grant for policy development but the county also plans to apply for a second CTG grant to address programmatic implementation. “Our goal is to prevent chronic disease and improve social and emotional wellness by making the healthy choice the easy choice,” says county Environmental Health Manager George Schroeder.
Bernalillo County’s CTG disease prevention initiative will benefit from a strong multi-sectoral leadership team that will offer guidance and direction. The team consists of the Bernalillo County Community Health Council, local policy-makers and leaders in the community.
Back to news list