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Funding Opportunity Announcement: Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) (DP14-1417)

Please continue to check this FAQ page where responses will be posted as questions are received. Please check questions similar to ones you submitted, since not all questions will be posted verbatim and responses may be combined.

Click on the FAQ topic headings below to view an expanded list of questions and responses.

 

CDC appreciates your interest in this funding opportunity announcement. The FAQ section of the Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) (DP14-1417) is where questions and answers from the past 12 weeks are posted. Unfortunately, the deadline to submit questions through our website was July 14, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. We regret that we are no longer able to respond to questions.

For questions related to application submission please refer to the FOA. For all other questions please review the FAQ section of Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) (DP14-1417).

 

CDC has received several questions asking about how to conduct a specific activity or task or what type of interventions would be appropriate for the FOA. These include questions such as:

  1. Please give an example of a "point of sale” communication strategy.
  2. Will CDC provide more information on an appropriate scope of work for the individual strategies?

We regret that we are unable to respond to these kinds of questions. The purpose of the FAQs is to provide clarification on the funding opportunity announcement, not to provide specific technical assistance.

Can a bona fide agent apply on behalf of a local health department or other eligible applicant?
For a government agency, a bona fide agent, acting on behalf of an eligible government agency applicant, may apply on the eligible applicant’s behalf. Other eligible applicants for DP14-1417 are nonprofit organizations with or without 501C3 IRS status (other than institutions of higher education). Those nongovernmental organizations must apply directly for this FOA.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Purpose

Eligibility

Funding

Application Process

Scoring

Recipient Activities

Evaluation

Letter of Intent

Other

General


 

Can CDC post a Word template for the logic model?  

No. The logic model was not created in Word. he applicant is encouraged to develop their logic model using the same column headings as those provided in the logic model on page 5 of the FOA.  

Can CDC give an example of how an increase in infrastructure components can/should be measured at the PPO level?

Measuring infrastructure components would be a process measure. The applicant would propose a number of infrastructure components and would measure if those components are in place.

Does the Project Manager have to be a staff member of the agency submitting the application or may this be a consultant or contractual position?

The principal investigator and the project manager must be employees of the applicant organization.  

Are sole source contracts/consultants allowed? Can staff time designated for managing a competitive bid process count toward the community based allocation?

If selected as a governmental grantee, your agency is subject to the "Procurement Standards", 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 92, that permits grantees to use their own procurement procedures which reflect applicable state and local laws and regulations provided that the procurements conform to applicable Federal law and the standards identified in this section. One of those standards is the requirement for competition: All procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the “procurement standards” cited above.

Are human subject certifications applicable to this opportunity?

Research is not allowed on this Funding Opportunity.

On page 34 of the FOA, CDC states that it will not fund implementation of "optional policies" to reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, or to promote healthy nutrition. The FOA later outlines a list of optional policies that awardees are encouraged to implement. Please clarify.

CDC encourages all entities that are awarded funding from this FOA to implement, within their own organizations, the evidence-based tobacco and nutrition policies listed on page 34, if they are not currently in place. However, awardees may not use any funding from this FOA to implement those policies within their own organizations.

Could scholarships awarded to small businesses to join statewide wellness councils be a portion of the annual award to local community entities?

No. CDC does not allow the awarding of scholarships. The applicant may propose subcontracts with small businesses to implement a portion of the CAP that would be considered a part of the requirement to fund local community efforts.

In regards to smoke free environment, can the number of properties or policies be used as the unit of measurement in the PPO? The example in the FOA expresses the PPO unit of measurement as the number of people reached.

No. The unit of measurement for the PPOs should be the number of people. The unit of measurement for the AOs should be the number of places.  

In our LOI we included a descriptive title for our grant, is it allowable to change this title?

Yes, it is permissible to change the descriptive title in the application from what was indicated in the LOI.

Is drug abuse/addiction considered a chronic disease?

No, not for the purposes of this funding opportunity announcement.

Are the tobacco and nutrition policies listed on page 34 of the FOA the only evidence-based policies that may be considered for implementation?

No. The tobacco and nutrition policies referenced on page 34 of the FOA are examples for the applicant organization to consider and do not represent all evidence-based or recommended guidelines related to tobacco or nutrition policies. Applicants are encouraged to implement the tobacco and nutrition policies listed on page 34 within their own organization if such policies do not currently exist within the organization.  

The outline in the Project Narrative section on page 30 of the FOA does not match the outline on page 37 under Phase II review. Please clarify which outline to follow.

The applicant should follow the Application and Submission Information which begins on page 28 of the FOA and includes the Project Narrative section on page 30.

Can a jurisdiction be defined as the southwest region, one geographic area of the state, which has two different communities each with its own needs assessment and coalition, but under one fiscal agent?

Yes, as long as the communities and coalitions meet all the requirements of a coalition noted on pages 10-11 of the FOA, the fiscal agent represents one of the eligible applicants, and all other requirements of the FOA have been met.

The proposed project would serve 12 rural counties through six local health departments. Is it permitted to attach separate sets of supporting documents (maps, letters from coalition members, and other supporting data) from each health department within the targeted jurisdictions?

The application attachments list on page 45 of the FOA does not specifically allow for multiple sets of documents from each health department, but rather separate files for Letters of Support, Memorandum of Agreement, and Memorandum of Understanding. Other materials may be submitted in an attachment titled "Evidence of Organizational Capacity."

Is it acceptable to change the geographic area identified in the LOI in the final proposal, if necessary?

Yes. While it is acceptable to change the geographic area covered in the application from what was previously defined in the LOI, the final application must still adhere to all special eligibility requirements as outlined on page 26 of the FOA including the representation of the coalition, the scope of the community health needs assessment, and evidence of the work performed in the defined jurisdiction.

Should the Background section listed under "Approach" on Page 37 be a separate section as indicated on page 30 of the FOA?

Yes. The background section should be a separate section. When developing your project narrative, you should follow the application and submission information starting on page 30 of the FOA.

Must each strategy reach 75% of the population within the designated geographic area, or is that a combined reach for all strategies taken together?

A combination of PICH strategies should reach 75% of the population within the jurisdiction. However, there is no reach requirement with regard to the selected priority population.

Based on the Appendix C – Suggested CAP Template, how many project period objectives (PPOs) are required, and how many annual objectives (AO) are required?

Based on the “Suggested CAP Template,” applicants should propose at least 3 PPOs – one for “Infrastructure,” and one for each of the risk factors that the applicant chooses (minimum of 2). Each PPO should have at least one annual objective, though the applicant may choose to have more than one AO per PPO (e.g. one for each of the 5 infrastructure components).

If an applicant’s coalition stays the same, can the applicant switch to a different fiscal agent than the one identified in the applicant’s LOI?

No. The fiscal agent on the LOI and the application must be the same.

If the PI and PD are not the same person, can the Project Director be identified/hired upon notice of award? And what is the expected percent effort of both the PI and PD?

Applicants must identify a primary Principal Investigator/Program Manager in the application (for example, in the form SF-424A) and proposed budget; this person should be required to work on the project at least 25% time. The applicant should identify and include in the proposed budget a position or a qualified staff person or equivalent responsible for managing the planning, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of the program, and with management experience in population-based interventions relevant to the selected strategies. It is recommended that this position be at 100% time.

Do the Certifications and Assurances Forms require a wet signature, or can we type the Authorized Certifying Official's name without a wet signature when uploading the documents?

The Certifications and Assurances forms will require original signed signature or an official electronic signature.

Prior FAQs indicate that a coalition that has been in existence for over 2 years CAN expand their topic areas so long as they provide evidence of their ability and experience, and the coalition contains representatives from necessary agencies. Information presented on the call sounded contrary. Can you please clarify this point?

The applicant and its coalition(s), which have been in existence for two years or more, CAN expand their topic areas as long as all other requirements of the FOA are met.

On page 32 in Item D #4, it states a documented prevalence rate of 8.3. Could CDC please provide a year and data source reference for this statistic?

The CDC estimates that in 2010, 8.3% of the U.S. population had diabetes (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf [PDF–2.7MB]). Additional national estimates of chronic diseases and risk factors can be found on the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/stats/index.htm).

Page 33 of FOA states the work plan must be uploaded as a separate file labeled work plan, but a previous FAQ states that the work plan is included in the Project Narrative. Please clarify and indicate the CAP template portion that is expected to be submitted within the narrative, as an attachment or both.

The work plan, or CAP, should be included in the 25 page project narrative. The work plan table should be saved as a separate document, entitled "work plan," and included as an attachment to the application in www.grants.gov.

Is there any guidance for situations where the state health department is applying for the 1422 grant and a local community is applying for PICH? For example, complementary but not duplicative strategies?

The proposals should be complementary and not duplicative.

Is there a page limit for supporting materials (evidence of coalition existence, letters of support, resumes, budget narrative, others?)

There is a 25-page limit for the project narrative, which includes the work plan. Additional attachments do not count towards the 25-page limit for the narrative.

Regarding population requirements, how does CDC define community, by county or township? If there is a coordinated application, can it represent smaller communities throughout the state?

Eligible applicants may define jurisdictions that are made up of multiple cities or counties. Any jurisdiction comprised of multiple cities or counties must be represented by an established multi-sectoral coalition representing the jurisdiction and have existing data reflecting an assessment of the entire jurisdiction.

Will applications be considered from geographic areas that do not meet the priority population criteria of: 1) at least 30% with income below 100% federal poverty level, and 2) at least 25% of adults >25 years of age without a high school education?

Yes. Per the FOA, on page 15, “Priority populations can be defined in a variety of ways. Some of these include level of income, and level education, disability status, linguistic isolation, and food deserts, as well as information from sources such as vital statistics, data from local health surveys and hospitals.” While the FOA does recommend that FOA applicants define the priority population on the basis of income level and education, this is not a requirement.

Looking at Appendix D-Example CAP Template, does a separate annual objective (AO) need to be identified for each of the five strategies associated with the project period objective (PPO) description?

The applicant should have at least one project period objective (PPO) and one annual objective (AO) for each of the five strategies and each of the two risk factors on which the applicant chooses to focus.

How do we submit a letter of intent?

A suggested template has been provided as part of Appendix E. The LOI may be up to four pages in length. LOIs may be sent via email to PICHLOI@cdc.gov.

Notifications of Award and Project Start Dates

If the award date is Sept. 30, when is the anticipated start date of the program?

The anticipated start date is Sept. 30, 2014. Notification of awards should happen at least a week before.

Population Requirements

For the population characteristics listed on pg. 16, you refer to income and education as considerations. In terms of expanding that, are those the only two, or if the intent is to look at special populations, would a racially disadvantaged population suffice as well?

Yes a racially disadvantaged population would suffice. While the FOA does recommend that FOA applicants define the priority population on the basis of income level and education, this is not a requirement. Per the FOA, on page 15, “Priority populations can be defined in a variety of ways. Some of these include level of income, and level education, disability status, linguistic isolation, and food deserts, as well as information from sources such as vital statistics, data from local health surveys and hospitals.”

You talked about reaching 75% of the population jurisdiction and 75% of the priority population. If we home in on a priority population (e.g. school population), is that ok if it’s not 75% of the school but rather a priority population determined by age, gender, or race?

PICH strategies should reach 75% of the population within the jurisdiction. However, there is no reach requirement with regard to the selected priority population.

If I’m focused on a city of 600,000, then I would have to demonstrate improved opportunities for healthy living are available to 75% of that population, or if we were focusing on low-income housing, would we have to demonstrate a benefit for 75% of low-income housing residents within the jurisdiction?

It would be 75% of 600,000. In addition, you can have a targeted approach for low-income housing residents as the priority population.

A lot of questions about combining counties were related to combining the counties to keep it under the small country number. What if there were multiple counties that totaled more than the small county maximum, can it be considered a large-county combination?

The difference between small cities and counties and large cities and urban counties are based on population size. Jurisdictions with populations of 500,000 or more are in the large cities and urban counties category. Any jurisdiction comprised of multiple cities and counties must be represented by an established coalition with multi-sectoral membership from those counties and have data in hand reflecting an assessment of the entire jurisdiction to be served.

What if a coalition traditionally has worked with a broader population, but is narrowing down to a high-risk population?

Awardees are required to reach 75% of the population of the jurisdiction. In addition, awardees may select a specific segment of the population as priority population for specific interventions.

We have a coalition that is a 501c3 and has received funding for a small portion of a community of 150,000. Would you consider funding our consortium to expand to that entire 150,000 population addressing healthy eating?

If the coalition meets the eligibility requirements, it may apply for the FOA. If funded, the coalition must implement strategies that reach at least 75% of the entire jurisdiction.

Coalitions

 

We have an existing coalition that’s been dealing with obesity, and we would like to address tobacco. Do we need to have a separate coalition for tobacco or would one coalition serve as a jumping-off point?

The coalition must provide evidence that it has been successful implementing environmental improvement strategies to support health and has been in existence for a minimum of two years.

 

We’ve had an established diabetes care program that was part of a Tribal council. I’m on a Native American reservation with seven districts. Does that constitute a coalition or is it an individual entity since we don’t have everyone involved in the program directly?

A diabetes care program may be a member of a coalition, but does not constitute a coalition of partners from multiple sectors. Sectors include: transportation, housing, health care, economic development and others. Applicants must be a member of or affiliated with an existing multi-sectoral community coalition with broad representation from a variety of different sectors.

 

From the requirements, it looks like institutions of higher learning could not apply. But could they be part of a coalition that’s applying?

Institutions of higher learning may be members of coalitions applying for the FOA.

 

We currently have 16 counties, an umbrella network, and each of the jurisdictions has a coalition. The coalitions at the jurisdiction level are multi-sectoral. The umbrella group is made up primarily of local health departments, but we do have that multi-sectoral component. We’ve been working together on the Community Transformation Grant at the network level with the coalitions all engaged. That model has worked very effectively for us. It just sounds like the criteria for this FOA a little different.

The umbrella coalition of multi-sectoral county coalitions would meet the requirements of the FOA if it has been in existence for at least two years, will oversee the work of the 16 county jurisdiction and reach 75% of the residents of that 16 county jurisdiction.

 

For the faith-based part of the coalition, would a representative from a coalition of churches be acceptable on the coalition rather than representation by a single church or synagogue? We have an ongoing coalition that primarily has focused on physical activity, poor nutrition, and clinical linkages. Many of the organizations that sit on that coalition also deal with tobacco, but tobacco has not been a part of coalition’s ongoing work. Would we be able to apply under this application to do tobacco work?

This FOA will fund eligible agencies and organizations to work through existing multi-sectoral coalitions that have the experience and expertise to accomplish the work described in the FOA.

 

If there are multiple eligible coalitions within a jurisdiction, would more than one award be considered within that jurisdiction?

CDC will not fund more than one award in a jurisdiction.  

 

If coalitions are focused on specific strategic areas, would it be possible to work in this grant with two coalitions where one, for example, focuses on tobacco and another that focuses on physical inactivity versus a single coalition that works in both areas?

A coalition working on one risk factor for two or more years may join (an)other coalition(s) working on another risk factor for two or more years to demonstrate experience in the applicant’s selected areas. A single eligible applicant would apply for this work and draw on the expertise of and work through both coalitions.

 

Is there an expectation that the coalition is the managing partner on the grant? Or is the expectation that the coalition just participate in grant deliverables?

The eligible applicant may be the coalition itself, if the coalition meets the eligibility requirements, or may be an agency or organization that meets the eligibility requirements and is affiliated with and will conduct the work of the FOA through the coalition.

 

Regarding population requirements, we have multiple counties with populations under 50,000. Can we add up these counties to meet the small cities and counties requirement? If not, could we have one country that is about 50,000 and then combine them with our county coalitions that are a population of about 50,000?

Eligible applicants may define jurisdictions that are made up of multiple counties. The coalition must have multi-sectoral representation from all the participating counties.

Can you clarify what Principal Investigator and Project Director are in the letter of intent? Are they the same?

Those terms are used interchangeably. There is no difference between them. It is the person responsible for the programmatic aspects of this award.

Does this FOA replace Community Transformation Grants?

No. This FOA builds on CDC’s 15 years’ experience funding community health programs. PICH is a new 3-year initiative to improve health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases. PICH is focused on population-based strategies that have been the focus of prior CDC funded programs to include:

  1. Increase the number of people with access to smoke- and tobacco-free environments
  2. Increase the number of people with access to healthy food and beverage options
  3. Increase the number of people with access to physical activity opportunities
  4. Increase the number of people with access to opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, or management through clinical and community linkages.

Why is CDC no longer funding the Community Transformation Grants?

Funds were not appropriated for the Community Transformation Grant Program in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

How many awards will be made?

Up to 40 cooperative agreement awards will be made.

Is direct assistance (DA) for personnel available through this FOA?

Direct assistance is not available through this FOA.

What is the project period of the awards?

The project period is September 30, 2014 – September, 29, 2017.

What is the start date of the awards?

PICH awards will be funded on or before September 30, 2014.

Do intended sub-recipients need to be selected and identified prior to submitting the grant proposal?

No. Before sub-recipients / sub-contractual costs can be approved there are required elements that must be provided before establishing an agreement. Listing the names of sub-contractors in its grant application does not relieve a Recipient from compliance with Policy and procurement requirements and does not grant a blanket endorsement from CDC. Grantees may follow their own procurement efforts or those outlined in 45 CFR. CDC does not mandate the type of contracts a grantee puts in place. CDC’s responsibility is to ensure the grantee follows the procurement regulations as outlined in 45 CFR, Part 74 and 92. The Procurement Standards permits grantees to use their own procurement procedures which reflect applicable state and local laws and regulations provided that the procurements conform to applicable Federal law and the standards identified in this section. One of those standards is the requirement for competition. All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide to the maximum extent, practical open and free competition. These procedures must allow all qualified contractors to be given an opportunity to bid and to have their bids fairly considered. In addition, some form of cost or price analysis shall be made and documented in the procurement file in connection with every procurement action. The recipient is expected to use contracting methods that are consistent with their normal procurement systems, as required by 45 CFR 74 and 92.

As a recipient of Federal funds, the grantee must ensure proper stewardship by ensuring established policies/regulations and procedures are in place for accountability. The agency should have financial management system in place. This system should include policies, procedures, and controls (accounting system(s) policies and procedures, budgeting, internal controls, property management, and the overall organizational structure) maintained by an organization which affect the incurrence of costs.

Approval of any sub-recipients is conditioned upon the grantee’s compliance with the regulations above. Per the Funding Opportunity Announcement, all subcontractors under this award are required to have a DUNS number.

Applicants must describe partner and community engagement throughout the project period, including the involvement of the multi-sectoral community coalition comprising an alliance of local organizations, decision makers, and community members. CDC anticipates that all applicants will maintain a functioning multi-sectoral community coalition to carry out the PICH strategies over the 3 year period.

Is it acceptable to have two lead organizations (one of which is applicant/fiscal agent)? 

No.  

  • If so, is it acceptable to have co-Principal Investigators (PI)? A grant recipient can have as many co PIs as they wish however we only acknowledge the one primary.
  • If not, does the PI need to be a staff member of the fiscal agent agency? Yes and should be required to work on the project at least 25%.

Is there a minimum target population, size or location (for example, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, multi-state)

Three designated geographic areas or populations are defined for the PICH FOA:

  1. Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more)
  2. Small Cities and Counties (with populations of 50,000 to 499,999)
  3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations

Define health equity as it relates to this FOA.

Health equity is attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and healthcare disparities. (source: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/npa/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=1&lvlid=34 ) Health inequity as it relates to this FOA requires a strategy combining population-wide and high-risk approaches (dual action). The application should promote integrated approaches, evidence-based programs and best practices to reduce these disparities.

For the purposes of this FOA, how do you define infrastructure?

An infrastructure change includes establishing systems, procedures, and protocols within communities, institutions, and networks that support healthy behaviors. This includes improving linkages among service agencies, public health, and public health care systems. Note that this program is not authorized to conduct construction and/or modernization projects.

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Purpose


 

Can you please define chronic disease as it relates to this grant?

The FOA defines the chronic diseases and risk factors on page 6 of the FOA. The purpose of this FOA is to reduce heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. The risk factors are tobacco use and exposure; poor nutrition; physical inactivity; and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities (related to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity).

Can funds be used to build a collaborative partnership and an innovative model to work with day cares to reduce asthma triggers in their environments.

Applicants must address at least two of the four risk factors: tobacco use and exposure; poor nutrition; physical inactivity; and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities. Pg. 10 of the FOA, provides guidance regarding what constitutes a functioning multi-sectoral coalition. The coalition must provide evidence that it has been successful implementing policy, systems, and environmental improvement strategies to support health and must have been in existence for a minimum of two years.

What is the purpose of the new PICH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

PICH is a 3-year initiative to improve health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases. PICH is focused on population-based strategies that have been the focus of prior DCH funded programs to include:

  1. Increase the number of people with access to smoke-free and tobacco-free environments
  2. Increase the number of people with access to healthy food and beverage options
  3. Increase the number of people with access to physical activity opportunities
  4. Increase the number of people with access to opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, or management through clinical and community linkages.

What are the anticipated outcomes of this FOA?

PICH outcomes are categorized as short-term, intermediate, and long-term.

  1. Short-term Outcomes: As part of their evaluation, all PICH awardees will be responsible for measuring and monitoring progress on short-term outcomes stated in the purpose of the PICH FOA in addition to positive changes in attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, awareness, and behavioral intentions for relevant strategies.
  2. Intermediate Outcomes: As part of the PICH National Evaluation Plan, CDC will be responsible for measuring intermediate outcomes. Because available data are typically not adequate to measure these changes in an individual community, CDC will identify communities with similar strategies and aggregate available data (e.g., from BRFSS) from multiple communities, as possible. Intermediate outcomes include:
    1. Reduced exposure to secondhand smoke
    2. Increased daily consumption of fruit
    3. Increased daily consumption of vegetables
    4. Increased physical activity
    5. Increased use of community-based resources related to better control of chronic disease
  3. Long-term Outcomes:  As part of the PICH National Evaluation Plan, CDC will be responsible for estimating long-term outcomes based on performance monitoring and short-term outcome data. Long-term outcomes include:
    1. Reduced rates of death and disability due to tobacco use
    2. Reduced prevalence of obesity, and
    3. Reduced rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke  
  4. Impact – As part of the PICH National Evaluation Plan, CDC will be responsible for estimating impact. CDC will model impact based on performance monitoring and short- and intermediate term outcomes data. Impact includes: improved quality of life; premature deaths averted; and medical costs averted.

What is meant by priority populations in this PICH FOA?

For this PICH FOA, priority populations can be defined in a variety of ways. Some of these include income and level of education, disability status, linguistic isolation, and food deserts, as well as information from sources such as vital statistics, data from local health surveys and hospitals. It is recommended to define priority populations on the basis of income and level of education. Priority populations will, in general, be considered to be a group of census tracts where the population has the following characteristics:

  • At least 30% with income below 100% federal poverty level, and
  • At least 25% of adults >25 years of age without a high school education.

When defining a priority population on the basis of income and level of education, it is recommended to provide the following information:

  • A map of the census tracts where the selected priority population resides
  • A list of the census tracts
  • The demographic makeup of that area (age, sex and race/ethnicity)
  • % with income below 100% federal poverty level
  • % of adults >25 years of age without a high school education.

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Eligibility


 

Can an organization be the fiduciary on more than one of the six FOAs?

Yes. Applicants can apply to be funded under multiple funding opportunity announcements if they meet eligibility criteria. If funded for more than one FOA, recipients should avoid duplication of effort and ensure staff time on the two (or more) projects does not total more than 100%. All federal grant policy restrictions must be adhered to and FOA requirements must be met.

Can an organization apply for the REACH and PICH funding opportunities, but serve in different roles (lead organization vs. fiscal agent)?

Yes. Applicants can apply to be funded under multiple funding opportunity announcements if they meet eligibility criteria. If funded for more than one FOA, recipients should avoid duplication of effort and ensure staff time on the two (or more) projects does not total more than 100%. All federal grant policy restrictions must be adhered to and FOA requirements must be met.

What criteria can be used to define the geographic area of a priority population?

The priority population identified by an applicant must reside entirely within the designated geographic area identified for the project as a whole. The FOA provides additional guidance on identifying and defining a priority population on pages 15 and 16 of the FOA.

Our Metropolitan Planning Organization currently has a contract with the CDC for the Vulnerable Populations Grant within the Division of Diabetes Translation. We submitted an LOI. Are we eligible to apply?

Yes. If the applicant submitted an LOI, the applicant is eligible to submit a full application for funding as long as the eligibility requirements are met along with other FOA requirements.

Can a coalition participate in two separate applications if the applicant organization is different?

Yes, a coalition can participate on more than one application for PICH funding.cShould both applicants be funded, care should be taken to avoid any duplication of effort and to ensure staff time on the two (or more) projects does not total more than 100%.

Can the organization applying be involved in a statewide coalition or does it have to be local?

As stated on page 3 of the FOA, Multi-sectoral community coalitions include representation from a variety of sectors, including businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, local health departments, health care organizations, community planning agencies, local housing authorities, local transportation authorities, social services, agricultural extensions programs, civic organizations, park and recreation departments, faith-based institutions, and other community-based organizations. When multiple sectors work toward common chronic disease prevention priorities, improvements in health can be amplified and accelerated.

Our partnership has completed an action plan that aligns well with the CAP template provided in the FOA. Will our action plan be acceptable?

The CAP template in Appendix D of the FOA is provided as an example. An applicant may use an alternative format as long as that format includes all of the information required.

Is a for-profit health, emergency, and chronic disease related organization eligible to apply as the lead agency? If they are not eligible to apply as the lead Agency, can they be a part of the coalition that’s applying?

No. For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply for this FOA, as noted on pg. 26. For-profit organizations may be members of coalitions applying for the FOA.

Is there a minimum population size requirement for tribes/tribal organizations interested in applying?

No.

Our national organization serves as the convening agency of a regional coalition employing policy, systems, and environmental strategies to address diabetes in three communities. The regional coalition is made up of three local coalitions based in a city, a state, and a U.S. territory. Would we be able to apply as a regional coalition? If not, would our multi-sector local coalitions be eligible?

The regional coalition could be eligible if the requirements of the FOA are met. Eligible applicants may define jurisdictions that are made up of multiple cities or counties. Any jurisdiction comprised of multiple cities or counties must be represented by an established multi-sectoral coalition representing the jurisdiction and have existing data reflecting an assessment of the entire jurisdiction to be served. One eligible applicant would need to apply as the lead for any coalition(s) made up of one or more cities or counties.

Are previous REACH or CTG awardees eligible to apply?

Generally yes if they meet the requirements for “eligible applicants” on page 26 of the FOA.”

Would a 501c4 (Civic Advancement Corporation) qualify under the nonprofit non-501c3?

Non-profits with 501C3 status are eligible to apply. The entire list of eligible applicants includes:

Government Organizations or their bona fide agents:

  • Local public health offices
  • American Indian tribes or Alaskan Native villages
  • Local Housing Authorities
  • School districts
  • Local transportation authorities

Non-government Organizations:

  • Nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)
  • Nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)

Can you clarify the definition of a coalition?

Coalitions must include wide representation across organizations and sectors. The coalition must provide evidence that it has been successful implementing policy, systems, and environmental improvement strategies to support health and must have been in existence for a minimum of two years. Additional guidance is provided starting on page 10 of the FOA. Within this framework, in order to meet the needs of the communities, applicants will need to determine what specific members are needed to ensure a functioning multi-sectoral coalition.

This funding opportunity looks like a very good fit for our organization, but there is no mention of asthma among the chronic diseases. Would a proposal on asthma be considered?

Awardees are required to select a minimum of two of the four chronic disease risk factors – tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and lack of access to chronic disease risk reduction management opportunities – and implement interventions to achieve the objectives and contribute to the long-term outcomes of the FOA. These are:

  • Reduced rates of death and disability due to tobacco use by 5% in the implementation area.
  • Reduced prevalence of obesity by 3% in the implementation area.
  • Reduced rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease and stroke by 3% in the implementation area.

While our county is the third largest county in the continental U.S., our population barely tops 41,000. Would we be able to submit a proposal by including a neighboring county that would allow us to reach the minimum population for small county/city?

Eligible applicants may define jurisdictions that are made up of multiple counties. The coalition must have multi-sectoral representation from all the participating counties.

I am working on a project for school and need funding for a community education program. Would this grant be applicable to a school/community project?

Applicants will need to describe how selected activities contribute to strategies and achieve program goals. Applicants must select activities that accomplish the outcomes of the PICH FOA.  

Our state does not have a local public health department, the only public health infrastructure is the State Public Health Department. Are we eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are:

Government Organizations or their bona fide agents:

  • Local public health offices
  • American Indian tribes or Alaskan Native villages
  • Local Housing Authorities
  • School districts
  • Local transportation authorities

Non-government Organizations:

  • Nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)
  • Nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)]

Are multi-county collaboratives eligible?

Yes. Multiple counties can come together. However, be attentive to the required elements of the FOA, some of which include: 1) a coalition membership that is representative of the jurisdiction; 2) available data within the last three years for the jurisdiction; 3) and the ability to begin implementation once funding is received. One eligible applicant would need to apply as the lead for this funding opportunity.

If they are eligible, the population of those four counties would likely be slightly over 500,000. How does the collaborative decide which geographic area they fall into? They match the profile of Small Cities and Counties, but the total population of all four counties – despite their rural nature – would likely put them in the Large Cities and Urban Counties category, though they do not fit the profile for that category. They would really appreciate some clarity on this question in particular – what should they do if they match the profile of the Small Cities and Counties bucket, even if they have a population exceeding 500,000?

Eligible applicants should request funding based on the population size of the jurisdiction to be served. Eligible applicants may define jurisdictions that are made up of multiple counties. Eligible applicants include non-governmental organizations, local public health departments, school districts non-governmental organizations, local public health departments, school districts, local housing authorities, local transportation authorities and American Indian tribes/Alaska Native villages to work through existing multi-sectoral community coalitions that represent one of the three designated areas are eligible to apply for funding:

  1. Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more)
  2. Small Cities and Counties (with populations of 50,000 to 499,999)
  3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations

Are municipal park and recreation agencies from a large city eligible to submit an application?

No, the eligible applicants are local public health offices, school districts, local housing authorities, local transportation authorities, and American Indian tribes/Alaska Native villages and tribal organizations. Additionally, non-profit organizations with or without 501c3 status are eligible.

If I reside in a rural area, does that mean I cannot apply for multiple counties?

There are three designated geographic areas associated with population size for this FOA. Multiple counties can come together. However, remember to consider the required elements of the FOA, some of which include: 1) a coalition membership that is representative of all of those counties; 2) available data within the last three years for all the counties to be included; 3) and the ability to begin implementation once funding is received.

Are fiscal agents for a city health department eligible to apply?

Yes. A bona fide agent, acting on behalf of an eligible government agency applicant, may apply on the eligible applicant’s behalf.

We’re a non-profit organization that does not have a 501c3 status, but our Chamber of Commerce acts as our fiscal agent and does have 501c3 status. Would we apply through the Chamber of Commerce or independently ourselves?

You would apply as your own entity, as there isn’t a requirement to have 501c3 IRS status.

Based upon the requirements, it looks like institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply? Is this correct? Can a local health department designate an agent (a higher education institution) to apply on their behalf?

Per this FOA,  the eligible entities are:

Eligible Applicants -

Government Organizations or their bona fide agents:

  • Local public health offices
  • American Indian tribes or Alaskan Native villages
  • Local Housing Authorities
  • School districts
  • Local transportation authorities

Non-government Organizations:

  • Nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)
  • Nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)]

If a local health department works closely with a 501c3 that has applied as a fiscal agent in the past, and both are eligible, can the 501C3 apply as the health department’s fiscal agent or can they apply independently?

It is up to the organizations as to how they apply.

I see that cities are not eligible to apply as leads. Could we apply to partner with a city or could we apply to work in just one city as a partner?

Yes, you would be able to do that. If you were the lead, that would be appropriate. Also, a city public health office, city housing authority, city school district and city transportation authority would be eligible to apply

There has been talk about several counties applying together. Would one county have to apply as the lead applicant?

One eligible applicant would need to apply for this funding opportunity.

Would a national organization that works locally in multiple cities across the country working on multi-sector coalitions and works in three to five local jurisdictions be eligible to apply?

A national organization would need to meet all the eligibility requirements in order to apply.

Would a Mayor’s Wellness coalition existing for seven years with various representatives, including a health department, be eligible?

The applicant would need to meet the eligibility requirements listed on page 26 of the FOA.

 

Coalitions

If we have experience in one topic area, can we expand to another topic area?

An existing coalition doing policy, systems, and environmental work in one or more risk factor areas may expand to another risk factor area (i.e., tobacco use and exposure; poor nutrition; physical inactivity; and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities). For example, a coalition with two or more years of experience working and having success in tobacco use and exposure can apply to work in tobacco use and exposure but also apply to work in an expanded area, such as physical inactivity.

Can existing, single-topic coalitions join forces and meet the FOA requirement?

A coalition working in one risk factor area for two or more years may join another coalition(s) working in another risk factor area for two or more years to demonstrate experience in the applicant’s selected areas. For example, an anti-tobacco use coalition can partner with an obesity coalition and expand to include representation from the obesity coalition to meet the requirements of the FOA.

Can we expand to work in a geographic area we have not worked in prior?

An applicant can expand to a geographic area in proximity to the current areas of work if the coalition expands to include multi-sector representation from the expansion area. For example, a coalition working for two or more years in Cole County in physical activity can expand to its neighboring Evans County with the addition of representation from Evans County health, education, transportation sectors, etc.   

Can a bona fide agent apply on behalf of a local health department or other eligible applicant?

For a government agency, a bona fide agent, acting on behalf of an eligible government agency applicant, may apply on the eligible applicant’s behalf. Other eligible applicants for DP14-1417 are nonprofit organizations with or without 501C3 IRS status (other than institutions of higher education). Those nongovernmental organizations must apply directly for this FOA.

Nonprofit Organizations

As a nonprofit organization, what role can I play in an application?

Nonprofit organizations with or without 501 C3 IRS status are eligible applicants. An nonprofit organization that is a member of a coalition with two or more years of experience in one or more of the risk factor areas can be the:

  • Applicant
  • Supporting  organization submitting a letter of support or MOU
  • Member of a coalition

What type of government organizations are eligible to apply? Is the list in the FOA complete or simply examples?

Eligible government organizations are those listed in the FOA on page 26.These are: local public health offices, school districts, local housing authorities, local transportation authorities, and Indian Tribes. A few examples are county department of health, city department of education, and government county office of education.

What type of non-government organizations are eligible to apply?

Both nonprofit organizations with or without 501 C3 IRS status are eligible applicants.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

PICH is a 3 year initiative to improve health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases. Eligible applicants include non-governmental organizations, local public health departments, school districts non-governmental organizations, local public health departments, school districts, local housing authorities, local transportation authorities and American Indian tribes/Alaska Native villages to work through existing multi-sectoral community coalitions that represent one of the three designated areas are eligible to apply for funding:

  1. Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more)
  2. Small Cities and Counties (with populations of 50,000 to 499,999)
  3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations

Are previous REACH or CTG awardees eligible to apply?

Yes.

Which of the 3 designated geographic areas delineated in the FOA would a state or the USAPI be classified to apply for?

PICH will provide funding to a variety of governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, including school districts, local housing authorities, local Transportation Authorities, local public health offices and American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages to work through multi-sectoral community coalitions that represent one of 3 designated geographic areas:

  • Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more),
  • Small Cities and Counties (with populations between 50,000-499,999),
  • American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations.

An entire jurisdiction such as a state or territory does not meet the designated geographic areas identified in the FOA.   

Is there a preference in this FOA for organizations that have received funding through DCH funded programs in the past?

No. This is a limited competition based on the eligibility criteria, strength of the application and the review/award process.  

Are non-profits which are not designated as a 501(c)(3) organization eligible to apply?

Yes. Non-government Organizations can apply including both nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education) and nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education).

May a non-profit foundation with 501(c)(3) designation serve as the applicant organization on behalf of an organization that does not have this designation?

All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the funding opportunity announcement. Non-profit organizations with or without 501 (c) (3) designations are eligible. The direct and primary recipient in a cooperative agreement program must perform a substantial role in carrying out project outcomes and not merely serve as a conduit for an award to another party or provider who is ineligible.

Can an organization be both the lead applicant as well as be included as a pre-selected sub-recipient in a different grant application?

Yes. All federal grant policy restrictions must be adhered to and FOA requirements must be met.
Before sub-recipients / sub-contractual costs can be approved there are required elements that must be provided before establishing an agreement. Listing the names of sub-contractors in its grant application does not relieve a Recipient from compliance with Policy and procurement requirements and does not grant a blanket endorsement from CDC. Grantees may follow their own procurement efforts or those outlined in 45 CFR. CDC does not mandate the type of contracts a grantee puts in place. CDC’s responsibility is to ensure the grantee follows the procurement regulations as outlined in 45 CFR, Part 74 and 92.

 

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Funding


 

Is assistance for families to enroll in SNAP, including assistance to childcare providers who provide enrollment assistance, an allowable expense?

No. Assistance in applying for SNAP benefits is considered direct services which are not allowed per this FOA.

Can funds be used to convene key stakeholders in different sectors that are not currently working together?

CDC cannot determine the allowability of costs to convene stakeholders without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about costs associated with convening stakeholders.  

Are cost sharing funds included in the award ranges outlined on page 3 of the FOA?

No. The award ranges include only federal funds and do not include cost sharing funds.

Do cost sharing funds provided by community organizations count toward the percentage of annual awards going to local entities?   

No. Applicants are required to allocate a percentage of federal funds received from their annual award to local community entities.

In the Itemized Budget Narrative, are applicants expected to show each itemized cost for each 12 month period of the 3 year proposal? For instance, for an individual's salary, are applicants expected to display the total cost for each 12 month period or simply display the total cost for the 3 year period, outlining the number of months the individual will be on the project over the course of the 3 year period as shown in the Budget Preparation Guidelines?

Applicants are expected to show the itemized costs for the first 12 month period of the proposal. If the applicant is awarded they will submit a new itemized budget each year for the next budget period through the end of the project period.

The Budget Preparation Guidelines do not discuss how to display the cost sharing funds within the Itemized Budget Narrative. Should these expenses be outlined below the funding amount requested from CDC, so as not to interfere with the Indirect Cost calculation and allow cross-referencing to the SF-424, or is there another preferred format?

The preferred format is to have the applicant to submit a separate budget for any matching funds. he budget should be prepared in the same format as the budget requesting funds from CDC.

Page 12 of the application - checklist question # under section B, asks if a 3 year detailed budget has been provided with the option of non applicable. Is a 3 year detailed budget required or does 'not applicable' apply? If so, what form is used to complete the 3 year budget?

A 3 year detailed budget is not required. If applicant is selected for funding a new budget will be requested each year for the next upcoming budget period.

Should the budget narrative include all three years of requested funding or just the first year?

Per page 25 of the FOA, the budget period length is 12 months.

Can funds be used to purchase laptops for personnel working 100% on the grant?

CDC cannot determine the allowability of the purchase of laptop computers without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about the purchase of computers.

Can train-the-trainer education activities and materials for those trainings be funded to build chronic disease prevention and management opportunities?

CDC cannot to determine the allowability of the train-the-trainer activities and materials without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about the training activities and materials.

May applicants propose subcontracts with institutions of higher education?

Yes. Applicants may propose subcontracts with institutions of higher education.

Are projects allowed to allocate PICH funds for BRFSS oversampling and/or supplemental questions related to the priority risk factors?

Yes. If funding is proposed to conduct a BRFSS survey, the applicant must clearly state how it will be used for evaluation. For awardees, the final evaluation plan and use of funds must be approved by the Project Officer. As part of the local evaluation plan, awardees will be responsible for measuring short-term outcomes.

Can personnel funding for agency staff who work at the local level be considered as a part of the 40-50% local sub-award?

No. Employees of other organizations should not be included under personnel but rather under consultants, other expenses, or consortium/ contractual. All individuals listed under the personnel section must be employees of the applicant’s organization.

Are sub-awards only given to members of the coalition, or can outside partners identified by coalition members receive funds?

The applicant may propose a sub-award to an organization best suited to complete the scope of work, which is not limited to coalition members.

Is each of the 10% marketing and evaluation proportions independent of, or part of, the 50% funding requirement for projects with a proposed budget of over $1M?

It depends. If the marketing and evaluation costs are in the form of consultant or contractual agreements, then yes, the costs would be a part of the 50% requirement. If the marketing and evaluation costs are within the funded agency, or for the purchase of supplies, then no, the costs would not be a part of the 50% requirement.

Can CDC funds be used to cover the cost of the "health bucks" i.e. reimburse farmers or merchants who redeem the bucks for the value of the food purchased?

No. CDC funds cannot be used for the purchase of food or beverage, directly or indirectly through vouchers.  

Can CDC funds be used to cover expenses associated with delivering direct services (e.g. diabetes workshop), such as mileage, materials and incidental expenses?

No, these funds cannot be used to provide or to support the provision of direct services.   

Can CDC funds be used to cover the cost of stipends for volunteers?

Funding for stipends under this funding opportunity announcement are considered unallowable based on the HHS Grants Policy Statement.

Can CDC funds be used to create new trails or make improvements to existing trails (i.e. paving)?

No. Creating new trails or making improvements to existing trails are not allowed under this funding opportunity announcement.

Can award funds be used to purchase equipment such as refrigeration equipment to help neighborhood markets?

Per the FOA, "Generally, awardees may not use funds to purchase furniture or equipment. Any such proposed spending must be identified" in the budget and have supporting justification to support the activities. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about the purchase of furniture or equipment.

Would costs of supplies be allowed (such as purchase of a water bottle filling stations; way finding signage for pedestrians; bicycle racks; edible plants) if other funds were used for construction/installation and if the supplies were justified by the implementation of an evidence based strategy?

The applicant should include clear and concise information regarding the bona fide need and how purchasing this equipment ties into accomplishing the goals and activities published in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Sufficient cost breakdowns with justifications must be provided. Federal Grant funds are not awarded to support organizational set-up (i.e. purchase of equipment, furniture).

Per 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB A-110), Supplies means all personal property excluding equipment, intangible property and debt instruments … and Equipment means tangible non expendable personal property charged directly to the award having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.

Does the FOA only describe funding ranges for Year One?

Yes. The FOA only describes funding ranges for Year 1. Total project period funding is $150,000,000, and is subject to availability of funds.

Can CDC funds be used to pay for promotional items?

CDC funds may not be used for the purchase of promotional items which include, but are not limited to memorabilia, gifts, and souvenirs.

The FOA states that 10% of the budget should be allocated for evaluation. Is that only for staffing or can the 10% include evaluation incentives and other expenses?

The applicant should propose how at least 10% of the PICH annual budget will be allocated for support of evaluation activities. PICH funds dedicated to evaluation may be used for staffing, contracts, and other items subject to approval by CDC.

Can you define clinical care? Is this definition inclusive of health education, lactation consultants, or healthy habit follow-up management (e.g. Sweet Success program activities)?

Funds cannot be used to pay for clinical care (i.e., health care services delivered by a health care provider such as counseling, screening, treatment) or other direct services (e.g. other health education).

Can you define direct services?

In general, a direct service relates to the delivery of one-on-one or one-on-small group services. For example, using funds to pay the salary of a community health worker/representative to provide a service to individuals, or free transportation to individuals participating in a program would be an inappropriate use of federal funds and are not within the scope of this FOA. However use of funds related to a programmatic activity resulting in policy, environmental, or systems improvements are allowable. For example, the use of funds to train a multi-disciplinary team, including community health workers/representative, to increase cultural competencies is allowable.

What capital expenses could be allowed under PICH? The FOA uses "Health Bucks" as a strategy for increasing access to healthy food for low-income populations. Under what form is funding to be allowed for this? Would EBT machine purchases be permitted?

CDC cannot to determine the allowability of the purchase of EBT machines without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about the purchase of EBT machines.  

Is there an indirect cost cap for the grantee or their sub awards? If so, what is that cost cap and are there any indirect costs that are not allowable?

There is no cap on indirect costs. Indirect costs are based on the applicant’s most recent approved indirect cost rate agreement. If funded, awardees are required to have their subawardees follow CDC’s and the awardees’ policies and regulations.  

Can funds be used to work on policy? For example, could funds be used to support the work of a city Food Policy Council?

All population-based strategies proposed by applicants must be implemented in compliance with applicable federal laws related to policy and lobbying restrictions.

Applicants will implement strategies and activities shown to improve health and reduce chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity) and related risk factors (e.g., tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction and management opportunities). The PICH strategies and activities are designed to address the chronic diseases and related risk factors through population-based strategies that lead to measurable health improvements. Applicants should identify and implement prevention efforts that result in policy, systems, and environmental improvements that maximize public health impact by reaching large numbers of people and having moderate to large effects on health outcomes. Strategies to include in a Community Action Plan are:

  • Program infrastructure and organizational capacity
  • Fiscal management
  • Coalition
  • Performance measurement and evaluation
  • Communication and dissemination
  • Chronic disease risk factors

For a listing of more specific activities under each category, please refer to pg. 12 of the PICH FOA.

If an eligible nonprofit organization becomes an awardee of this FOA , can they sub-award to a local health department in their jurisdiction.  What are the distribution requirements?

Yes. On pg. 10, there is a fiscal management requirement which provides percentages of annual awards that must go out to community entities. For awards that are $749,999 or less, at least 20% must go out to local entities or partners; awards between $750,000 to $999,999, at least 40% must go to local entities/partners; and for awards of $1 million or more, at least 50% must go to local entities/partners.  

Do partner budgets need to provide full detail (like the primary budget) and a corresponding budget narrative?

If the information is known at the time of application, please provide a detailed budget and justification to support the cost. If the information is not known, applicants may provide a general figure that supports the cost. If requesting funds in the contractual line item the Procurement and Grants Office will request the supporting documentation to approve the budget as follows, detailed budget, name of contractor, scope of work, method of selection, how the contract will be monitored, and period of performance.

Can funds be used to pay school staff to facilitate the delivery of in-classroom curriculum by students?

No. Paying school staff to deliver an in-class curriculum is considered "direct services," and is not allowed under this FOA.

Can a contract with a member of the associated coalition be considered part of the 50% sub-award requirement?

Yes, however, the recipients are expected to use contracting methods that are consistent with their normal procurement systems, as required by 45 CFR 74 and 92. This includes any conflict of interest and the appearance of a conflict in interest. Per 45CFRPart 36(3) Grantees and subgrantees will maintain a written code of standards of conduct governing the performance of their employees engaged in the award and administration of contracts. No employee, officer or agent of the grantee or subgrantee shall participate in selection, or in the award or administration of a contract supported by Federal funds if a conflict of interest, real or apparent, would be involved.

What are some examples of a non-profit without 501(c)3 designation??

The Internal Revenue Service has classifications of non-profit organizations with tax exempt status. See http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Requirements-for-Exemption.

Can we reduce our indirect cost rate and use that as our institutional match?

No. Federal funds cannot be used for cost matching.

Will county health profile data that is provided through the Department of Health be acceptable for the community health needs assessment? Also, must the organization that conducted the health needs assessment be the one applying?

Yes, county health profile data may be considered as part of the community health needs assessment. The community health needs assessment should have been conducted by the applicant or community partners within the past three years (after May 1, 2011). The organization that conducted the community health assessment does not need to be the lead agency applying. .  

Can matching funds be in-kind?

Yes. Matching funds can be either cash or in-kind.

Our local public health system conducted a community health needs assessment in January 2011, however several partners conducted their community health needs assessment after May, 2011. Are we eligible?

Per this FOA, the eligible entities are:

Government Organizations or their bona fide agents:

  • Local public health offices
  • American Indian tribes or Alaskan Native villages
  • Local Housing Authorities
  • School districts
  • Local transportation authorities

Non-government Organizations:

  • Nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)
  • Nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education)]

The community health needs assessment should have been conducted by the applicant or community partners within the past three years (after May 1, 2011). If the applicants are otherwise eligible, these community health needs assessments could meet the RFA’s requirements.   

Will large cities and counties, small cities and counties, and tribal and Alaska Native villages compete against each other for funding?

Applicants will complete with other applicants within each of the three categories:

  • Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more)
  • Small Cities and Counties (with populations of 50,000 to 499,999)
  • American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations

Regarding the indirect rate on pg. 34 of the FOA, if you do not have a negotiated indirect rate agreement, you are not able to request indirect costs, correct? In the past, there has been verbiage that if an organization doesn’t have an indirect rate agreement, you could use 9.9%. Does that apply to this FOA?

For applicants that do not have an established indirect cost rate agreement, you may submit a proposal that includes an indirect rate based on a 10% rate of direct salaries and wages (exclusive of fringe benefits). The 10% rate will only be valid for the first year of the award. If the awardee does not have an established rate agreement after the first year of the award, the awardee will not be allowed to claim indirect costs for the following year.

Is there any additional budget guidance, for instance using per capita estimates, for formulating the budget?

There is information on pg. 33 about formulating your budget narrative and a link. When developing the budget narrative, applicants must consider whether the proposed budget is reasonable and consistent with the purpose, outcomes, and program strategy outlined in the project narrative. For further guidance on completing the detailed budget, see Budget Preparation Guidelines at: http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/foamain.shtm.  

Is there a specific minimum or maximum amount of funding that has to be sub-awarded out? You mentioned that the lead applicant has to carry out most of the work and not just award money to sub-awardees. Could you talk a little bit more about this?

On pg. 10, there is a fiscal management requirement which provides percentages of annual awards that must go out to community entities. For awards that are $749,999 or less, at least 20% must go out to local entities or partners; awards between $750,000 to $999,999, at least 40% must go out the door; and for awards of $1 million or more, at least 50% must go out the door.

We have a county with 186,000 persons. What guidance do you have on the appropriate budget amount? How do we make a determination of the best budget?

Applicants are encouraged to consider the population size and the complexity of the work plan and determine an appropriate budget to accomplish the work.

Do we need to indicate in our budget exactly how much money is going to each of the partners or can the budget indicate how much is to be dedicated to partners generally?

If the information is known at the time of application, please provide it. If the information is not known applicants may provide a general figure. Before the contractual line item is approved, the Procurement and Grants Office will request the supporting documentation to approve the budget.

How much funding is available for the FOA?

Total project period funding is $150,000,000, and subject to availability of funds.

When will funds be made available to award recipients?

CDC will award funds by September 30, 2014

How many awardees will receive awards under this new FOA?

Average Year 1 Awards will range based on size of the jurisdiction being funded. Approximately 10 – 15 large cities and urban counties (with populations of 500,000 or more) awards will be made ranging between $1 million to $4 million; Approximately 15 – 20 small cities and counties (with populations between 50,000 – 499,999) awards will be made ranging between $100,000 to $1.5 million; and Approximately 5 – 10 American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations will receive awards ranging between $100,000 to $1 million.

What will be the average funding award for awardees?

This will depend on the size of the jurisdiction for which they applied. It will depend on the city/county/tribe population their application will serve and the strength/scoring of their application.

Can I apply for more than the ceiling listed in the FOA?

No. Applicants should not apply for funds greater than the ceiling since awards will not be higher than what is stated in the FOA.

Are PPHF funds used to support this FOA?

No.

Should travel costs for required meetings be included in the budget?

Yes. Travel should be included for two staff members to attend an annual training in Atlanta, Georgia in Year 1.

Are matching funds required?

Cost sharing funds are strongly encouraged for this project to facilitate sustainability. We encourage applicants to describe their plans to access resources from non-Federal sources in an amount not less than 15% of Federal funds awarded to Large City and Urban County as well as to Small City and Small County Awardees in Year 1, increasing by 5% points every year and ending at 25% by year 3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages may also share any plans to leverage other resources.

Can funds in this PICH FOA be used to purchase: 1.) video conferencing equipment, recording and streaming equipment and other interactive learning tools that can be used for community education and outreach on chronic disease, and; 2.) telemedicine equipment that can be utilized in the community and in schools to provide patient counseling and guidance on chronic disease prevention and management?

According to 2CFR225, Appendix A and Appendix B, Selected Items of Cost, items 11 and 15, the acquisition costs of “special purpose equipment” (see definition below) are allowable as direct charges if it is determined to be necessary for the CDC project. However, in this instance, video conferencing and telemedicine equipment do not align with or support the population-based approach described in the FOA, and therefore would not be approved for purchase with CDC funds. Grantees may work with partners to pursue other sources of funding for this equipment if desired.

“Special purpose equipment” means equipment which is used only for research, medical, scientific, or other technical activities. Examples of special purpose equipment include microscopes, x-ray machines, surgical instruments, and spectrometers.

Can funds be used for construction?

This program is not authorized to conduct construction and/or modernizations projects. Construction projects are applicable only to “construction” funding opportunity announcements under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), Section 307(b)(10) {Section 307(b)(101)}. This authority does not apply to “program” specific FOA’s. Therefore, recipients may not use PICH funding for construction (including, but not limited to, labor or materials). PICH funds may be used, for example, to assess support for a community initiative and educate community members, educate intervention population members, identify requirements for facilities, and conduct planning in preparation for construction. Any funds used for construction purposes would need to be provided by another source.

Will funding be available to build capacity?

Applicants must describe their organizational capacity to carry out the activities, strategies, performance measures, and evaluation requirements outlined in the FOA. CDC anticipates that all applicants will demonstrate capacity to carry out the activities and evaluation over the 3-year project period.

Is a match required?

Cost sharing funds are strongly encouraged for this project to facilitate sustainability. We encourage applicants to describe their plans to access resources from non-Federal sources in an amount not less than 15% of Federal funds awarded to Large City and Urban County as well as to Small City and Small County Awardees in Year 1, increasing by 5% points every year and ending at 25% by year 3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages may also share any plans to leverage other resources.

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Application Process


 

Can CDC clarify the purpose of the logic model and where it should be attached?

As noted on page 4 of the FOA, the logic model provides a framework for planning, implementing, and evaluating the proposed Community Action Plan (CAP) to assure alignment with the project’s goals of improving quality of life, averting premature death, and reducing medical costs. The logic model can be attached with the project narrative or work plan.  

Will color designations show up in charts and graphs in the final submission?

Yes. The color designations in charts and graphs will be visible in electronic form; however, the applicant should assume that copies for review will be printed in grayscale.  

What is meant by "names must match application" with regard to the proposed Principal Investigator and Project Director on page 30 of the FOA?

The principal investigator and project director named in the application should match the names provided in the applicant’s Letter of Intent. Any changes from the Letter of Intent will be negotiated with CDC upon funding.  

Must the organization already be registered at eRA Commons by the time the application is submitted or can the completion of eRA Commons occur after the application is submitted?

Yes the applicant must be registered at eRA Commons prior to the submission deadline.

We are required to fill out a section titled "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" but we do not lobby. If I leave it blank, it comes up as an error on our form and we cannot submit. What do we do to circumvent this issue?

All forms are to be completed and signed by the authorized official of the agency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will not award a grant or cooperative agreement where the grantee has failed to accept the assurances and certifications. Grant Assurances and Certifications are provided in consideration of and for the purpose of obtaining any and all Federal grants, loans, contracts, property, or other Federal financial assistance. The grantee is responsible for reading each Assurance and Certification and selecting those that will apply to all CDC Projects for which they might seek CDC funding. CDC currently authorizes grantees to submit their Grant Assurances and Certifications to CDC annually rather than with each grant application.

Which sections of the Grants.gov Application Packet should PICH attachments be uploaded/attached?

Follow the instructions provided in grants.gov

What is meant by the term 'Related Strategy' in the Annual Objective section of the Community Action Plan template (see pg. 18 of the DCH Outcome Evaluation Work Plan Template)?

The applicant should identify the evidence- or practice-based strategy that serves as the basis for selecting the Annual Objective.

How do we upload the certifications and assurances to grants.gov?

Completion and uploading of the certifications and assurances is part of the application process in grants.gov. Once forms are completed, upload the forms under "Optional" and then selected Other Attachment Forms

Can CDC clarify the inclusion of “Infrastructure” PPOs and AOs in the CAP? One FAQ response states applicants should include "at least 3 PPO's", one for "Infrastructure" and one for each risk factor. Another says "at least one PPO and one Annual Objective for EACH of the five strategies and each of the two risk factors." Please clarify.

Applicants should have at least 3 Project Period Objectives (PPOs): One for infrastructure and one for each of the two risk factors selected (applicants are required to focus on at least two risk factors). Applicants should have at least five annual objectives (AOs) under Infrastructure (the five strategies, or components, that are listed on pgs. 9-12 of the FOA – staffing, fiscal management, coalition, performance measurement and evaluation, and communication and dissemination) and at least one AO for each risk factor PPO (the applicant may have more than one AO per risk factor).

How should requests for proposals (RFP) be justified in the budget?

The Applicant should follow the guidance for proposing consultants (page 2) or contracts (page 6) in the Budget Preparation Guidelines. A link to the Guidelines is provided on page 33 of the FOA. If the applicant is unsure of the required information, a general dollar amount may be proposed. Before the consultant or contractual agreement is approved, CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office will request the supporting documentation to approve the budget. If the required information is known at the time of application, please provide it.

On page 38 of the FOA, CDC requests applicants to provide documentation of "organizational capacity to implement approach" and evidence of successful chronic disease-related projects conducted in the past 5 years. Can CDC provide examples of this requested documentation?

Yes. Examples of acceptable documentation include descriptions of studies conducted (past or present), reports on data collected for other funding opportunities, papers developed and/or published, etc.

An applicant proposes to increase access to both physical activity opportunities and healthy food environments. These would be cross-cutting activities that address more than one Project Period Objective (PPO). Would the applicant need to have two separate Annual Objectives (AOs) in the Community Action Plan or could the applicant just have one AO and reference a secondary objective?

The applicant should have two separate AOs, one for the physical activity PPO and one for the nutrition PPO.

May applicants use health awareness marketing campaigns to meet the requirement for reaching 75% of the target population of a designated geographic jurisdiction?

No. The applicant is required to reach 75% of the population within the defined geographic jurisdiction with policy, systems, and environmental improvements that lead to reductions in chronic disease risk factors or conditions as noted on page 6 of the FOA. A health awareness campaign alone is not an evidence-based strategy and is insufficient to accomplish this objective.

After registering on grants.gov, is it a requirement that our Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) and Principal Investigator register on the eRA Commons?

Yes. A Signing Official can register the institution, create a user account for the PI and modify the institutional profile. The Principal Investigator registers in Commons through the organization’s Authorized Organizational Representative (also known as the Signing Official). The role of the PI within Commons is to update his personal profile, check the status of the application and complete the grant process.

NOTE: A Signing Official (SO) in eRA Commons is the equivalent of an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) in Grants.gov.

Is a logic model required as part of the application?

Yes. A logic model is a required component of the project narrative.

According to the FAQs, 'The applicant should have at least one project period objective (PPO) and one annual objective (AO) for each of the five strategies and each of the two risk factors on which the applicant chooses to focus.' If the applicant has 17 pages of PPOs and AOs, would the applicant only be allowed 8 pages for our narrative?

Yes. However, the applicant does not have to have a separate page for each PPO or AO, which may allow for more pages in the narrative.

Where should the applicant document previously conducted successful chronic disease-related projects? It is not included in the list of allowable attachments on page 45.

An attachment, "Evidence of Organizational Capacity" has been added to the list of allowable attachments, as noted in the FAQs.

The Word template provided by CDC for the Evaluation Plan is 48 pages long. Please explain how it is possible to include the Evaluation Plan within the Project Narrative and still remain within the 25-page limit.

The applicant is only required to describe the evaluation plan, as noted on pages 31-32 of the FOA, and is not required to submit a full evaluation plan (Word template) within the application package.

Is a 1" margin required on the Community Action Plan (CAP)?

Yes. The margins in the Community Action Plan (CAP) template are 1 inch.

Please describe the difference between Community and Community Institution/Organization?

The examples provided on page 11 of the FOA refer to "Community" as local government agencies and "Community Institution/Organization" as local not-for-profit agencies and organizations.

Should references be imbedded in the narrative or included as an attachment?

The applicant may provide references in the narrative or as an attachment. If the applicant chooses to include the references as an attachment, they should be included in the "Evidence of Organizational Capacity" file which has been added as an allowable attachment.

The Community Action Plan (CAP) asks applicants to identify the "Population Focus". Is it acceptable to choose both General Population and Specific Population or should applicants only choose one?

The applicant should choose either general population or identify a specific population in the Population Focus section of the CAP.

May the font size in the CAP table be reduced to less than 12 pts. (11 or 10 pts.) to accommodate additional space?

Yes

Is a particular format required for the resumes?

No. However, the applicant is encouraged to submit concise resumes rather than lengthy curriculum vitae (CVs).

Are staff salaries considered to be "direct assistance"?

No. Staff salaries are considered personnel costs. Direct assistance generally involves the assignment of federal personnel or the provision of equipment or supplies, such as vaccines. Please see http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/GrantsFunding/direct_assistance.html for more information on Direct Assistance.

Must the 75% of the population requirement be reached each year or over the entire funding period?

The requirement is over the entire funding period. The outcomes of your project efforts must impact 75% of the population within your geographic jurisdiction.

We have reviewed the link provided on State POCs for Intergovernmental Review. Our state (Texas) does not have a SPOC. Given that, how should we respond to question #19 on the application form (SF-424)? Do we indicate that the program is not covered by EO 12372 (option c)?

The Order allows each State the option to designate an entity to perform the Intergovernmental Review function. If you are located within a State that does not have a SPOC, you may send application materials directly to a Federal awarding agency

Is a public health impact statement required for this project as referenced in Part B of the application checklist?

No. A public health impact statement is not required.

The FOA requires evidence-based interventions, but the Community Guide provides no evidence-based intervention for nutrition, so then what? Do you have any other resources we should reference?

The following resources may be helpful to identify strategies for improving nutrition.

  1. IOM’s Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2012/Accelerating-Progress-in-Obesity-Prevention.aspx
  2. The CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/resources/recommendations.html
  3. State Initiatives Supporting Healthier Food Retail: An Overview of the National Landscape http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/resources.html
  4. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Markets: A How-To Handbook http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5085298
  5. CDC’s School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6005a1.htm
  6. Caring for Our Children: Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs http://cfoc.nrckids.org/StandardView/SpcCol/Preventing_Childhood_Obesity
  7. The Regional Food Hub Resource Guide from the United States Department of Agriculture http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/foodhubs

On page 34 of the FOA it addresses the optional nutrition policy and states that the healthy food service guidelines must, at a minimum, align with HHS and General Services Administration Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations. If a CAP includes working with partner organizations on establishing healthy food guidelines for their own settings, are community partners or sub-recipients required to comply with these same standards or is there room for flexibility in their nutrition guidelines?

All recipient activities must comply with the HHS and General Services Administration Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations as a minimum. Flexibility is provided if others’ standards are higher than, not less than, the national standards.  Also, all sub-recipients of this funding must comply with the requirements of the FOA.  

Can one annual objective apply to multiple settings?

No. An annual objective should be specific to one setting.  

Will resumes/CVs count against a page limit or may we upload them as an appendix without a page limit?

Resumes and CVs may be saved as a separate document and included as an attachment to the application in www.grants.gov. Additional attachments as noted on pages 44-45 do not count against the 25-page limit for the project narrative. here is no page limit for additional attachments listed in the FOA.

In completing the Community Action Plan (CAP) Template, will CDC please clarify the changes an applicant is allowed to make?

Applicants applying for PICH funding are not required to use the CAP template in Appendix C of the FOA. If the CAP Template is used, applicants may make changes to the template as needed. Applicants should still provide the required items listed in the FOA for a proposed work plan/community action plan.

Is the Project Abstract Summary a description in the application or an attachment?

The Project Abstract Summary is a form available at www.grants.gov and should be included as an attachment in the application package.

How should the coalition membership roster be included in the application?

The coalition roster may be included in the Project Narrative or included as an attachment titled "Evidence of Organizational Capacity."

Where should maps and lists of census tracts that contain priority populations be included within the application?

Maps are not required, but may be incorporated into the Project Narrative. The list of census tracts should be included in the Project Narrative.

What should be included in the 25 page limit and is there a page limit for the attachments?

There is a 25-page limit for the project narrative, which includes the work plan and evaluation plan. Additional attachments as stated on page 45 (e.g., CVs/Resumes, Organizational Charts, MOU’s, and Letters of Support) do not count towards the 25-page limit for the narrative. “Evidence of Organizational Capacity” is now an allowable attachment. Content appropriate for the Evidence of Organizational Capacity would include items such as coalition rosters, bylaws, charter, meeting notes, or other materials that provide evidence of a functioning multi-sectoral coalition. There is no page limit for additional attachments listed in the FOA. Applicants proposing a strategy in a new population or setting are required to conduct an outcome evaluation. However, the outcome evaluation portion of the plan is not required in the application, and should be submitted within 30 days after finalizing the CAP with the Project Officer.

Attachments are limited to the list on page 44 and 45. Which is the best one to include the coalition documentation described on page 38?

Evidence of coalition capacity should be provided within the Project Narrative as noted on pages 30-33 of the FOA. Additional evidence or documentation may be included as an attachment named "Evidence of Organizational Capacity" and uploaded as part of the application at www.grants.gov.

Is it possible to modify the cell size within the Community Action Plan (CAP) to conserve space?

Yes. The applicant may modify cell sizes in the CAP.

Does the 25-page limit for the "Project Narrative" include "Letters of Support" or "Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding"?

No. The "Project Narrative" does not include the attachments mentioned. "Letters of Support," "Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)," and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) should be uploaded as separate attachments as directed in the FOA.

Can CDC provide the correct web link to the Target Intervention Area Tool, as described in the PICH FOA (pages 16, 20 and 50)?

The correct web link is as follows: www.communitycommons.org/chi-planning. [Note: This web site requires users to log in with a userid and password]. These data can alternatively be obtained from the census bureau: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml.

Is a letter from the local health department a requirement as a part of this application?

No

For applications being submitted on behalf of multiple cities/counties, can the community health needs assessment have been conducted across the entire region applying or should individual communities conduct them at the local level? Does the community health needs assessment need to be complete at the time of application?

The community action plan (CAP) should reflect community needs and gaps to be addressed across the defined jurisdiction(s), as a result of priorities identified in the community health needs assessment. The community health needs assessment should have been conducted by the applicant or community partners within the past three years (after May 1, 2011); there is no requirement to submit the community health needs assessment.

What type of review process will occur for this competition?

All applications will be reviewed initially for completeness by CDC PGO staff and will be reviewed jointly for eligibility by the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Procurement and Grants Office. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not advance to Phase II review. Applicants will be notified that their applications did not meet eligibility or published submission requirements. Phase II review process and scoring can be found on page 37-38.

Is there another way to apply without using Grant.gov.

No. Per the FOA, the application deadline is July 22, 2014, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time via www.grants.gov

We want to include maps showing data in the appendix beyond the 25-page limit. Is that acceptable?

Yes, you can provide information as an appendix.

I have a question about the three items for which we must be registered – the DUNS, SAM, and grants.gov. By what date must we be registered for those?

You must complete the registration for all of those before you can submit an application. We recommend that you start the process now or as early as possible so you can resolve any issues that may come up. We recommend completing everything at least two weeks before the application due date. 

Can the PI, the Project Director, and the primary contact be all the same person?

Yes, they can.

For the items listed to be included in the LOI, on pp. 29-30, are listed in a different order from how they appear in the Appendix E? Do you have a recommendation for which one to follow?

Please follow the template and include all the items required.

Our coalition has been very stable for at least four years. It started with CPPW. We do not have articles of incorporation. Would that coalition still work?

A variety of documents may be provided (e.g. minutes, coalition roster) to document the length of time a coalition has been in existence.

Is a DUNS number required by sub-contractors at the time of application or some later date?

Sub-contractors are required to have a DUNS number. The DUNS number can be provided at a later time. However, if funds are awarded to an applicant organization that includes sub-awardees, those sub-awardees must provide their DUNS numbers before accepting any funds.

In the community action plan template, we’re supposed to provide greater details in year one and higher level plans for implementation in years two and three. Is that higher level referring to milestones at all or are you just referring to an objective for each of the years two and three? Does it all go on the same template?

For year one, please provide a detailed work plan. Please refer to work plan template in the FOA. For years two and three, a high level work plan in narrative form is sufficient.

Can an entity be listed as a participant or sub-recipient in more than one application?

Yes.

If we use the table provided in the application’s template, do applicants need to double space within the cells of the table?  

No.

If an applicant chooses not to do an innovation, do we need to prove the evidence base for the intervention?

Applicants are expected to provide information supporting that the selected intervention is evidence-based.

When are applications due, and when will awards be announced?

Application deadline is July 22, 2014, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time on www.grants.gov

How can people ask questions about the FOA?

Applicants can participate on a pre-application conference call that will occur on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. EDT. The call in number is 888-324-7573 (toll free), Participant passcode: 5878439. Questions can be asked at the conclusion of this call. Questions can also be asked through the FOA website: www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/PICH.  

Repeat question 3Do I need to provide letters of support?

Yes, letters of involvement are required from coalition members. Applicants may also provide tribal resolutions, MOUs, or MOAs. Letters of support may be submitted. However, letters of support are not considered as strong evidence of a fully developed and established coalition.

Should the letters of support be sent directly to CDC? Who should the letters be addressed to?

The letters should not be sent directly to CDC. They should be included with the application. The letters of support should be addressed to a designated person at the organization applying for funds.

Is it acceptable to submit a LOI without submitting an application?

Yes.

Is there a page limit for the project narrative?

Yes, the project narrative is limited to 25 pages, single spaced, Calibri 12 point, and 1-inch margins. All pages should be numbered. Content beyond 25 pages will not be considered. This 25 page limit also includes the applicant’s work plan.

Is the budget included as part of the total page limit for applications? Is there a page limit specific to the budget narrative?

Budget narrative page count is not considered in project narrative. Requirements and assistance resources are provided in FOA.

Should the Community Action Plan (Work Plan) be included in the narrative or as an attachment? Do attachments count toward the page limit for the narrative?

The Community Action Plan (Work Plan) is part of the Project Narrative. Project narrative is limited to 25 pages, single spaced, Calibri 12 point, and 1-inch margins. This 25 page limit includes the work plan. Content beyond 25 pages will not be considered.  

Are applicants required to submit detailed budgets for sub-awardees as a part of the application?

Applicants are required to submit a budget, which would include contracts.

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Scoring


 

Is there a point value for providing evidence of collaboration (Under Organizational Capacity - Page 38), or point reduction for not providing it?

Yes. Point values are provided in the parentheses after each component of Section III: Applicant’s Organizational Capacity to Implement Approach (30 points total) is noted on page 38 of the FOA. Applicants are required to provide this information, or points will be deducted accordingly in the review of the application.  

How will the Community Action Plan be scored?

All applications will be reviewed initially for completeness by CDC PGO staff and will be reviewed jointly for eligibility by the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Procurement and Grants Office. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not advance to Phase II review. Applicants will be notified that their applications did not meet eligibility or published submission requirements.

Phase II review process and scoring can be found on page 37-38. The community action plan will be scored as a part of the "Approach" section of the application.Specific points for sections of the action plan are provided on page 38 of the FOA.

What type of review process will occur for this competition?

All applications will be reviewed initially for completeness by CDC PGO staff and will be reviewed jointly for eligibility by the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Procurement and Grants Office. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not advance to Phase II review. Applicants will be notified that their applications did not meet eligibility or published submission requirements. Phase II review process and scoring can be found on page 37-38.

Will large cities and counties, small cities and counties, and tribal and Alaska Native villages compete against each other for funding?

Applicants will compete with other applicants of the same size or category:

  1. Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more)
  2. Small Cities and Counties (with populations of 50,000 to 499,999)
  3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations

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Recipient Activities


 

For strategies that cut across project period objectives (PPOs) and Risk Factors, can the plans for these activities be described without repeating information in the work plans for two or three PPOs?

Each project period objective , annual objective, and the related activities in the work plan should have a corresponding description.

Can CDC please clarify the terms "Risk Factor", "Program Goal", and "Short-Term Outcome"?

For the purposes of the PICH FOA, the terms are described as follows:

Risk Factor: a condition that can lead to the onset of chronic disease.
PICH applicants should work on reducing at least two of the following risk factors: 1) tobacco use or exposure; 2) poor nutrition; 3) physical inactivity; or 4) limited access to opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, or management through clinical and community linkages.

Program Goal or Short-Term Outcome: These terms are used interchangeably and refer to what the applicant proposes to achieve at the end of the PICH project period through their work in each risk factor. These should be developed in a SMART (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-framed) format.

What information should be included in the Annual Objective work plan under the last box titled "Objective Description"?

The applicant should describe how the completion of milestones will lead to the accomplishment of the Annual Objective.

Several Annual Objectives may have more than one setting, such as schools that have joint-use agreements with community partners. How can the applicant select only one setting for the application?

The applicant should select the most appropriate setting, which, if the applicant is funded, may be modified when the Community Action Plan is finalized.

Will CDC please clarify "Milestone Title" on the Activities page in the work plan template on pg. 20?

"Milestone Title" is a concise name of the milestone (activity) that the applicant proposes to complete. The applicant then provides a brief "Milestone Description" of the milestone (activity) that details what the applicant intends to do to achieve its Annual Objective.

What are "national standards" as they are used on the bottom of Page 33?

For this FOA, national standards refer to nationally accepted expectations of public health departments seeking accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board. More information can be found at www.phaboard.org.

Are there any recommended resources that can assist applicants in using secondary data sources to identify "priority populations", "populations in poverty", and "populations with no high school diploma" or other supplemental data related to community health needs assessment or community context?

Applicants may access these data using this recommended website, www.communitycommons.org/chi-planning , and selecting the tab "Access Target Area Intervention Tool" [Note that this website requires users to log in with a user ID and password]. These data can also be found on the Census Bureau website: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml .

Regarding the CAP, pg. 21 states 'Ten specific activities for each SMART objective'. However, the CAP template states 'List at least four and no more than ten milestones per annual objective (AO)'. Is a number between four and ten milestones acceptable?

Proposed work plans should list at least four and no more than ten milestones per annual objective.

Is it appropriate for Annual Objectives (AO) to span across multiple funding years?

Applicants should propose annual objectives that can be accomplished during the first 12 months of the project period.

Is there a requirement regarding the number of Project Period Objectives and Annual Objectives to include in the Community Action Plan?

No. The applicant should propose Project Period and Annual Objectives commensurate to completing the work in their proposed Community Action Plan (CAP). However, when developing the CAP, there should be at least one Annual Objective associated with each Project Period Objective.

Can grant funding be used for vouchers to be used as incentives to encourage people to purchase healthy foods?

CDC cannot to determine the allowability of the purchase of vouchers to be used as incentives without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about the purchase of vouchers.  

Are we expected to go through the whole CHANGE Process as detailed in the CHANGE Action Guide with our Coalition BEFORE submitting the grant?

No. The CHANGE Tool is a recommended resource to help coalitions select strategies appropriate for their community.

Is there a population size requirement for the applicant or associated sub-recipients?

Applicants can apply for one of 3 designated geographic areas:

  1. Large Cities and Urban Counties (with populations of 500,000 or more) with 10-15 awards ranging between $1 million to $4 million,
  2. Small Cities and Counties (with populations between 50,000-499,999) with 15-20 awards ranging between $100,000 to $1.5 million, and
  3. American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages and tribal organizations with 5-10 awards ranging between $100,000 to $1 million

What kinds of activities will awardees conduct?

Applicants will implement strategies and activities shown to improve health and reduce chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity) and related risk factors (e.g., tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction and management opportunities). The PICH strategies and activities are designed to address the chronic diseases and related risk factors through population-based strategies that lead to measurable health improvements. Applicants should identify and implement prevention efforts that result in policy, systems, and environmental improvements that maximize public health impact by reaching large numbers of people and having moderate to large effects on health outcomes. Strategies to include in a Community Action Plan are:

  • Program infrastructure and organizational capacity
  • Fiscal management
  • Coalition
  • Performance measurement and evaluation
  • Communication and dissemination
  • Chronic disease risk factors

For a listing of more specific activities under each category, please refer to the PICH FOA.

Can funds be used to support research?

No.

Can grantees collaborate with Prevention Research Centers on activities, such as evaluation, even though this is a non-research FOA?

Yes, evaluation support is encouraged for the PICH FOA.

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Evaluation


 

Under what mechanism will the PICH national evaluation RFP be released?

CDC will not be releasing a request for proposals (RFP) for the PICH national evaluation.

Could BioMeasure Machines be used to gather baseline data and track improvement?

CDC cannot determine the allowability of BioMeasure Machines without reviewing the applicant’s entire application. If an award is made, CDC will negotiate with the awardee about BioMeasure Machines. Also note, CDC strongly recommends using common data collection methods and measures that provide standard units of measure that can be used to inform the evidence base.

Can reasonable estimates be used to indicate baseline numbers in the evaluation plan?

Yes. The applicant may provide estimates for baseline numbers within the application. The awardee’s evaluation plan will be finalized in collaboration with CDC.

Will applicants be required to report progress on short-term outcomes that are not addressed in the proposed interventions?

No. Awardees will report short-term outcomes on proposed selected interventions.

Is the PICH outcome evaluation work plan template a required attachment and if so, where should it be uploaded in the application?

The applicant is required to provide description of the evaluation and performance measurement plan (as noted on pages 31-32 of the FOA) as part of the project narrative. If the applicant chooses to use the template in "Appendix B: Annual Outcome Evaluation Plan," it should be included in the "Project Narrative" file.

Can CDC clarify the level of evaluation detail required in the application?

At a minimum, applicants should include the required elements for the evaluation and performance measurement plan as described on pages 31-32 of the FOA.

Can one organization support evaluation work for two separate proposals?

Yes. An organization is allowed to propose to conduct evaluation work on more than one application for PICH funding. Should both applicants be funded, care should be taken to avoid any duplication of effort and to ensure staff time on the two (or more) projects does not total more than 100%.

We’ve used some funding to oversample BRFSS survey in our area because currently it’s difficult to get a large enough sample size to tell us something about outcomes regarding physical activity and healthy eating. Do you have plans to focus on cities funded by the PICH grant so that you will have more significant, substantial data around the outcomes in the PICH?

DCH does not intend to collect new data as part of this initiative, and will use existing data to address any evaluation questions. CDC will not release a supplement to fund the collection of additional data.

The FOA required that you reach 75% of the priority population. Can you clarify that further and what documentation you will require to demonstrate that 75% reach?

The FOA states strategies should reach a minimum of 75% of the population within the defined jurisdiction. In a county of one million people, 750,000 people should be reached with the PICH strategies. That is the primary purpose of this FOA. The FOA does encourage targeted approaches, as well, but the 75% requirement does not pertain to the targeted approach. CDC will provide guidance on the methodology to estimate reach of strategies in the jurisdiction. In addition, CDC will provide resources, including technical assistance – for example, census figures from the American Community Survey, school district information – to help awardees assess the number of people reached by intervention strategies.

Does CDC expect to see reduced death rates from heart disease and stroke in three years?

Awardees under this FOA are not expected to achieve long-term outcomes at the end of the three year project period.

Should the applicant submit an evaluation plan? If so, are there guidelines as to what it should cover?

Yes. Description of evaluation requirements are found on page 11 and referenced in anticipated outcomes.

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Letter of Intent (LOI)


 

My LOI was sent by mail. How do I know if my mailed LOI was received?

Emailed Letter of Receipt Confirmation has been sent to the email address of the PI/PD or contact person provided in the applicant’s received Letter Of Intent.

Will the list of organizations who submit a Letter of Intent be posted?

No.

Can we submit the Letter of Intent (LOI) for the PICH after the June 5th deadline?

Due to issues with receipt, it has been determined that if an LOI is submitted by an organization at any time, then the application from that organization will be accepted for consideration.

How will a grantee know if their LOI was received?

All organizations that submitted an LOI should have received the following confirmation reply: "Thank you for your email. This PICH LOI email account is for the receipt of Letters of Intent (LOI) for Funding Opportunity Announcement: Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) (DP14-1417) only." No additional acknowledgement of receipt or eligibility will be sent.

Will we receive a copy of all the organizations who have submitted a letter of intent (LOI)?

No. A list of all organizations who submitted a LOI will not be posted.

Will CDC notify applicants if their Letter of Intent (LOI) is accepted and if they are eligible to apply?

CDC will not provide any feedback regarding eligibility based upon the LOI.

For the required elements of the LOI, am I correct that we do not need to include any information about our proposed project, simply a demonstration of capacity?

Correct. A suggested template has been provided as part of Appendix E. The LOI may be up to four pages in length.

The LOI does not seem to require that one specify a dollar amount. Is that correct?

Correct.

How long can the Letter of Intent be?

The LOI can be up to four (4) pages.

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Other


 

Where do applicants place a Notice of Debarment and Suspension? The notice is not mentioned in the list of acceptable attachments.

This is not a required attachment.

Does CDC require 1.0 FTE to manage PICH?

Per page 9 of the FOA, the only requirement for PICH is to have a project manager for the funding period.

Project Management Staffing Requirements

If we used funds to create a position to help coordinate these efforts, is it required that the position be maintained after the three-year funding period – or can it be a position that goes just for the duration of the grant?

Building sustainability is an important part of this work. However, the only requirement for PICH is to have a project manager for the funding period. It is not a requirement that positions are maintained after the funding period.

Activity Requirements

The different areas -- physical inactivity, tobacco, etc. – is there some notion that the funding would be divided by some system among those areas – or just whatever the best projects that come along are?

Awardees are required to select a minimum of two of the four chronic disease risk factors – tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and lack of access to chronic disease risk reduction management opportunities – and implement interventions to achieve the objectives and outcomes of the FOA. The budget should be developed to ensure outcomes are achieved in both areas.

Are you looking for activities that are more innovative and have the potential to lead the field or can something as tried and true as a bike path work?

Innovative strategies are optional and must be rigorously evaluated. Evidence-based strategies are the main focus of the FOA.

Is an application more likely to get funding if it addresses three or four risk factors?

No. There is no advantage in terms of points to selecting more than two risk factors to address.

Is education in after-school programs an allowable activity, specifically as it applies to advocacy?

Applicants will need to describe how selected activities contribute to strategies and achieve program goals. Applicants must select activities that accomplish the outcomes of the PICH FOA.

How can it not have anything to do with clinical? 99.8% of care is delivered by patients. That sounds very clinical, but this funding has nothing to do with clinical. How do you reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke if it has nothing to do with clinical?

Preventing and reducing tobacco use and improving nutrition and physical activity are evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce heart disease and stroke. Additionally, effective delivery of clinical and other preventive services, such as control of high blood pressure, are also effective interventions. Health care system changes that improve control of high blood pressure in a population are an allowable activity of this FOA. Funds may not be used for direct one-on-one clinical care. Examples of strategies are provided on pg. 13 and 14.

 

Is the purchase of signage around the banning of tobacco use in public areas an eligible expense? If we were successful in enacting a policy change, would that be an allowable expense to put include in the budget (signage)?

If the purchase of signage were integral to the success of the population-based strategy you are implementing, then modest funds for signage would be allowable. An awardee would discuss this purchase with the CDC project officer post-award and obtain approval. .  

Can funding be used for capital improvements? On pg. 13 of the FOA, one of the suggested strategies is to improve community designs to make streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users, including neighborhood slow zones and community-wide traffic calming. Is there a provision to purchase and acquire land and buildings or building materials?

These funds cannot be used for construction, the purchase of land and/or building materials. No. Those funds should come from other funders and partners.

Can funding be used to support outreach efforts provided by Community Health Workers? One of the strategies (on pg. 14) is about increasing the number of referrals to community-based resources.

Yes. However, funding cannot be used to pay the salary of Community Health Workers.

Would the funds support anything like after-school equipment or funding for a leader to keep students active?

The purpose of these funds is for population-based strategies, rather than one-on-one educational activities.

Would signage that would help promote parking area location, access points to trails, be considered construction?

If the purchase of signage were integral to the success of the population-based strategy you are implementing, then modest funds for signage would be allowable. An awardee would discuss this purchase with the CDC project officer post-award and obtain approval.

It sounds like nicotine replacement therapy would not be allowable.

Correct.

Can funds be used for meeting expenses, such as food?

No. Those funds should come from other funders and partners.

Are incentives for chronic disease management an allowable expense?  

No.

What are the lobbying restrictions concerning this grant? Can a 501(c)(3) organization conduct lobbying activities and apply for a grant?

Federal funds cannot be used for lobbying. Successful applicants must comply with the requirements set out in Section 503, Division F, Title V, FY12 Consolidated Appropriations Act and Additional Requirement (AR)12, which is CDC policy as well as a term and condition of the FOA with respect to lobbying restrictions placed on an award recipient.

In addition, please note that the grantee is not restricted to engage in those activities under Section 503 if the grantee is using funding sources other than Federal appropriations unless the grantee activities are otherwise limited by state law or other applicable restrictions, such as provisions in the Internal Revenue Code. Grantees may wish to consult with their tax and/or accounting advisors for assistance.

For additional information, please refer to Anti Lobbying Restrictions for CDC Grantees at http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/Anti-Lobbying_Restrictions_for_CDC_Grantees_July_2012.pdf [PDF 509].

Will the conference call meeting notes be available to those unable to make the call?

Yes, the scripts from the conference calls will be made available online at www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/PICH.


  

 

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