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Board of Health Awarded Federal Grant to Address Health Disparities

DECATUR, Ga. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant to the DeKalb County Board of Health in the amount of $792,000 per year for five years. Over 265 applications were received, however, only 31 were approved for funding. Recipients include community-based organizations, government agencies and institutions of higher learning.

The grant’s purpose is to reduce the level of chronic diseases and strengthen partnerships within the county. The funding is subject to availability.

DeKalb County ranks 18th in Georgia for its health outcomes.  The county has a high rate of chronic disease.  Diabetes is the eighth leading cause of mortality in the county and affects over 10% of adults. Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death.  Obesity, a risk factor for these and other chronic diseases, affects approximately 30% of adults and 13% of adolescents.

The REACH initiative will improve nutrition and increase physical activity among African Americans.  It will also facilitate their access to community health programs.  Planned activities include supporting a mobile farmers market, increasing walking and biking safety around schools and linking people with chronic diseases to health care.

The Board of Health will partner with stakeholders such as the DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department; the DeKalb County School District and the Live Healthy DeKalb Coalition.  Other partners include Georgia Safe Routes to School, Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support, Physicians Care Clinic and University of Georgia DeKalb County Cooperative Extension.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administers the national REACH program to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. REACH grantees carry out local, culturally appropriate activities to address a wide range of health issues among African Americans, Hispanics and other groups.

To learn more, call the Board of Health’s Office of Chronic Disease and Prevention at (404) 508-7987 or email