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Health Department partners with other counties to receive N.C. Dept. of Public Health grant

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Health Department, in partnership with Cabarrus Health Alliance, was recently announced as a recipient of a regional Community Transformation Grant (CTG) from the North Carolina Department of Public Health. Over a five-year period, the region will receive $2 million to target the economic, social and physical root causes of chronic disease.
Community Health Manager Lena Allen said the initiative, which she described as “new for us,” is being brought down to regions, and then individual counties, as part of an effort working for the same cause.
Nearly 1.3 million North Carolinians across Region IV of the project — including Alexander, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties — are expected to be impacted by the project, according to a Lincoln County Health Department press release.
Region IV’s focus will be on tobacco-free living, active living, healthy-food environments and clinical-preventative services.
The lead agency in the initiative, serving to coordinate efforts and provide infrastructure for the funding, is Cabarrus Health Alliance, with a focus on collaborations with community organizations and local government agencies to implement prevention programs proven to make a positive impact on health, the release noted.
Targeted efforts will also be made to address health disparities in each county.
“Lincoln County was selected to serve as the healthy-food environment lead for the project due to our extensive collaboration efforts with Cooperative Extension and other key community partners,” Allen said.
“ … Lincoln County is excited to be part of this regional, state and nationwide effort.”
Specifically, Lincoln County’s role, led by Healthy-Food Environment Lead Coordinator Kellie Hull, will be to implement policies to boost convenience and corner store offerings by promoting healthier food and beverage options; establish and enhance local farmers markets, mobile markets and farm stands; increase tobacco-free regulations; and develop joint-use agreements with community organizations to increase access to physical activity opportunities.
The state’s public-health department has funded 10 multicounty collaborative projects in total in order to implement jurisdiction-wide changes, with the project to span through September 2016.
The Community Transformation Grant Project is housed within the Chronic Disease and Injury section of the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Funding is through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Transformation Grants.

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