The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Community Health (DCH) is one of nine divisions within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). We are committed to strengthening community-level health efforts throughout the nation and helping communities prevent disease and promote healthy living. Our efforts place special emphasis on reaching people who experience the greatest burden of death, disability, and suffering from chronic diseases and other chronic conditions.
DCH Core Principles
Our community-level work is grounded in three core principles:
- Maximize Public Health Impact
Given the substantial human and economic costs of chronic diseases—and the challenges of limited resources and competing priorities—it is essential to optimize prevention efforts, reaching the greatest number of people with the greatest effect.
To maximize public health benefits, DCH provides funding, training, and technical assistance to help communities build their capacity to develop and put into action proven programs and systems and that will work and last.
- Achieve Health Equity
Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to attain his or her full health potential, and no one faces barriers to achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances, such as where a person lives, where he or she works or goes to school, or what types of health systems are in place to deal with illness.
DCH-funded initiatives address health equity by improving opportunities for health, particularly in communities with greater disease burden. For example, our programs are increasing the availability of affordable, healthy foods in neighborhoods lacking such options, and working to protect residents in tribal housing from exposure to tobacco smoke.
- Use and Expand the Evidence Base
As communities carry out interventions, it is important to study and measure the results to determine what worked and what did not so that the evidence base grows for strategies that help health equity and health-related improvements.
Sharing evidence is a critical part of this core principle, as it enables communities to learn from one another. DCH, its awardees, and its partners are compiling such evidence so that it can share this knowledge with communities. By using evidence-based strategies, communities are more likely to meet their health improvement goals and spend resources more efficiently.
DCH promotes sustainable community action to improve health and achieve health equity through four core programs:
- Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW)
- Community Transformation Grants (CTG)
- Healthy Communities Program (HCP)
- Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
Through these programs, we join with communities, states and territories, tribes and tribal organizations, and federal and nongovernmental partners—engaging diverse organizations and individuals in a shared vision of a healthier America, through healthy communities.