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Above: Volunteers at the Clearlake Food Pantry hand out bags of fresh produce.

NCO awarded $1.4 million to help write a new health story in Lake County

Thursday, September 25, 2014

North Coast Opportunities was recently awarded a three-year grant for $472,000 per year, totaling $1,416,000. The “Partnerships to Improve Community Health” (PICH) awards are part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will administer the grants. PICH is the newest generation in the CDC’s long history of community programs to create and strengthen healthy environments that make it easier for people take charge of their health.

The initiative is called “Writing a New Story” to convey the concept of building on and strengthening the many excellent efforts already underway in Lake County that support health. It will emphasize collaborations among multiple organizations to shift large system efforts toward community wellness, as well as help shape environments to encourage healthy choices. For instance, one programmatic effort will work to identify healthy choices on restaurant menus.

In Lake County, governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations will work through collaborations and community coalitions to reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to programs for preventing and managing chronic diseases.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time for Lake County,” says NCO Executive Director Patty Bruder. “There are a number of exciting developments happening in the community and this generous grant will enable us to support the excellent work that is already underway, as well as start new projects where there are gaps.”

According to Tammy Alakszay, NCO’s Lake County Community Action and Volunteer Network Coordinator, this grant will go a long way toward addressing major – but reversible – issues in Lake County. “With enough resources and community support, I know we can reverse some of the troubling health trends we see in our county,” says Alakszay. “This grant is a huge step forward in that direction.”

To learn more about Partnerships to Improve Community Health, contact PICH Grant Coordinator Jen Dalton at 707-467-3226.

Program(s) Involved: Community Wellness Projects