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Funding Opportunity Announcement: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2014- financed in part by Prevention and Public Health Funding (DP14-1419PPHF14)

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.

 

CDC appreciates your interest in this funding opportunity announcement. The FAQ section of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) - financed in part by Prevention and Public Health Funding (DP14-1419PPHF14) 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 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) - financed in part by Prevention and Public Health Funding (DP14-1419PPHF14).

 

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.

 

General

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Purpose

Eligibility

Funding

Application Process

Scoring

Recipient Activities

Allowable Expenses

Letter of Intent (LOI)

Coalition Requirement

Population Requirements

Evaluation

Other

General


 

Does the minimum 10% threshold for communication activities also apply to Comprehensive Implementation awardees?

Yes. For Comprehensive Implementation awardees this minimum threshold begins in year one of the grant cycle.

Where can a sample CAP be found?

There is a partially completed sample CAP template on the webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/reach. It is inside a box bordered by red broken lines, underneath the FOA title. It is a WORD document that is titled “Community Action Plan template.” The hyperlink to the template is: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/foa/docs/reach-community-action-plan-template-foa.docx [DOC 200K]

Can maps be included in an appendix and referenced in the narrative? If not, can maps be inserted in the narrative text?

Yes. Maps can be inserted in the narrative text.

Can tables be included in the narrative and are there specific formatting requirements for tables?

Yes, tables may be included in the narrative, and the only formatting requirement is listed on pg. 37 of FOA, paragraph 10 which states as follows: Calibri 12 point font, 1-inch margins, and page numbers must be used in the Project Narrative. An applicant may use an alternative format as long as that format includes all of the information required.

The FOA requests that the interventions be identified in the application submission. Using a community based participatory approach (CBPA), the specific interventions to be implemented are not determined in advance of the project. Please clarify what CDC’s expectation are with regard to this incongruence?

As indicated in the REACH FOA, CDC expects community based participatory processes will have been used to develop the application and that applicants will continue to engage community representatives as the Community Action Plan (CAP) is finalized, implemented and evaluated.

Is the 75% reach requirement applicable for each risk factor or all risk factors combined, i.e., if our project is applying strategies to the risk factors of tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, do we need 75% reach for each risk factor or 75% reach for all three risk factors combined?

Per the FOA, a combination of strategies should be used to reach at least 75% of the selected priority population across multiple settings.

Where can applicants find the project narrative and budget templates in the FOA?

Project and budget narrative templates are not provided in the FOA. However, a community action plan (CAP) template is located in Appendix C.

Is there a reason why submitted applicant questions are not posted on the FAQ site as submitted?

Yes. In some instances, questions are streamlined/ simplified and do not appear exactly worded as originally submitted. Responses to questions previously answered (duplicate questions) are not repeated. Those questions and answers were already posted in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) site, or the FOA Call Script.

Is this FOA focused only on tobacco exposure and not tobacco use (i.e., cessation related systemic and programmatic improvements to reach the prioritized populations)?

Tobacco use and exposure are listed in the FOA as chronic disease risk factors (see page 12 under “Community Action Plan” for Basic Implementation and page 16 for Comprehensive Implementation).

Is the development of a logic model required for applicants submitting for basic and comprehensive implementation?

Yes. As indicated on page 28-29 of the FOA, a logic model is required as a component of the CAP for all applicants.

Can CDC clarify the requirement on page 30 of the FOA that the applicant’s CAP: Include PSE, evidence-based strategies to improve physical activity opportunities, provide healthy food or beverage options, and support access to case or access to smoke-free or tobacco-free environments for at least 75% of the priority population in a defined geographic area.

On pg. 30 of the FOA, the bullet regarding PSE should read that the applicant’s CAP:

Include PSE, evidence-based strategies to improve physical activity opportunities, provide healthy food or beverage options, and support access to quality healthcare services or access to smoke-free or tobacco-free environments for at least 75% of the priority population in a defined geographic area.

When was the REACH FOA announced on grants.gov? What other mechanisms did CDC use besides grants.gov to announce the FOA?

The REACH FOA was published on grants.gov May 23, 2014. Grants.gov is the official website to announce government grant opportunities.

Can an applicant discuss any aspect of their submission with CDC staff?

No. Applicants may not discuss any aspect of their submission with CDC staff.

How many risk factors may be addressed per priority population group?

Basic Implementation applicants should address one risk factor with one racial/ethnic minority population. Comprehensive Implementation applicants should address at least two risk factors within each of up to two priority populations. Please refer to the REACH FOA pgs. 10-16.

If an applicant combines its coalition with another coalition, will that prohibit the applicant from applying for comprehensive implementation?

No. The FOA states that applicants applying for the comprehensive implementation should have recently active coalitions and partnerships with a history of working together on issues related to health or other disparities. Please refer to the REACH FOA page 3.

Can funding be used to conduct a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey in a specific census tract(s) among the targeted population(s) as part of the evaluation?

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 their local evaluation plan, awardees will be responsible for measuring short-term outcomes.  

Can funding be used to collect base-line data that is not currently available to support our community health needs assessment?

Yes. Funds can be used to collect base-line data not currently available to enhance/bolster the results of the existing community health needs assessment. The applicant's local community health needs assessment must have been completed since 2010. However, funding cannot be used to conduct research. If awarded, the final work plan and use of funds must be approved by CDC.  

Can an applicant that is part of an existing coalition that meets the FOA requirements use a subcommittee of the coalition to implement this award?

Yes. Members of the multi-sectorial coalition should be actively engaged in advancing the work of the grant.  A subcommittee of the coalition can implement the grant, assuming requirements of the FOA are met.

Our coalition does not have a formal MOU. Do we meet the coalition requirements for this FOA?

Applicants must provide evidence of a fully developed and established coalition that has been active for at least two years, and actively involved in the planning, development and implementation of a community action plan (CAP).

Do the Somali/East African refugees meet the priority population criteria? Would a project focused on that population be eligible for funding?

The applicant is expected to self-identify the priority population of interest, and if the community falls within one of the required priority population categories, then criteria for eligibility has been met. A project focused on that population may be acceptable if all other criteria for eligibility are met, including documenting existing health disparities and other supporting data, identifying appropriate risk factor(s), coalition membership, etc.

Are the work plan and the CAP the same thing in the FOA or do applicants need to have both a work plan and a CAP? Do applicants have to submit the full CAP?

Yes, the work plan and the CAP are the same. Comprehensive applicants must provide a detailed CAP.

Can funding be used to provide these preventive and self-management programs in worksites and community settings?

No. CDC does not fund direct services. Funding could be used to support the coordination of the effort.

Can funding be used to train lay community health workers to implement a Diabetes Prevention Program in a new environment (e.g., churches, community based settings, and worksites)?

No. CDC does not fund direct services. Funding could be used to modify the environment, for example on pg. 20 of the FOA states: Increase number and training of multi-disciplinary teams (i.e., physicians, pharmacists, community health workers), including core competency training for community health workers and cultural competence training for health care providers.

How are the roles of the project director and program manager the same and or different?

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

Does this program duplicate other CDC funded activities? How will you ensure there is no duplication?

No. CDC will make every effort to work with awardees to ensure there are no duplicative CDC funded activities, and that all CDC funded activities are complementary and synergistic. This will occur through monitoring the work of DCH awardees and consulting with fellow CDC divisions and programs.

How will program activities be sustained at the end of the funding period?

Awardees are required to develop sustainability plans no later than during the second year of funding. All awardees are encouraged to leverage existing and potential resources that would support and strengthen their sustainability efforts, and CDC will make every effort to help identify those resources.

How many awards will be made?

There will be 15 - 20 Basic Implementation and 30 - 40 Comprehensive Implementation awards.  

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 begins September 30, 2014 and ends September 29, 2017.

What is the start date of the awards?

The start date of the awards is September 30, 2014.

How will this Funding Opportunity Announcement build on previous REACH initiatives?

For 15 years, the CDC REACH program has empowered community members in priority population groups to seek better health, help change local healthcare practices, and mobilize communities to implement evidence-based public health programs to reduce health disparities across a broad range of health conditions. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks to strengthen existing capacity to implement locally tailored evidence- and practice-based population-based improvements in priority populations experiencing chronic disease disparities and associated risk factors; and support implementation, evaluation and dissemination of strategies. This FOA will also support effective implementation of existing PSE improvements; thus, offering opportunities for community changes to take comprehensive action to address risk factors contributing to the most common and debilitating chronic conditions.

Is it acceptable to have two lead organizations (one of which is applicant/fiscal agent)? If so, is it acceptable to have co-Principal Investigators (PIs)? If not, does the PI need to be a staff member of the fiscal agent agency?

No, although it is acceptable to have co-PIs. Each Co-Principal Investigator must meet the same eligibility requirements as those set forth for the Principal Investigator. In the case of an applicant proposing Co-Principal Investigators, CDC requires that one individual to be designated as the primary or “corresponding” Principal Investigator, as CDC will only acknowledge the one primary PI. At least one PI should be a staff member of the lead agency.

Is there a minimum target population size or location (for example, neighborhoods, parish, communities, and cities)?

There is no minimum population size or location. Instead, applicants should focus their efforts on vulnerable populations within their identified priority population(s). For this FOA, vulnerable populations are defined primarily as geographic sub-areas with high rates of poverty and lack of high school education. When defining priority populations on the basis of poverty and education, applicants must provide the following data:  

  1. a map of the census tracts included in the selected vulnerable population
  2. a list of the census tracts
  3. the demographic makeup of that area (age, sex and race/ethnicity)
  4. % with income below 100% federal poverty level
  5. % of adults >25 years of age without a high school education.

What are the two components of this FOA? Can I apply for only one component?

The two components of this FOA are Basic Implementation and Comprehensive Implementation. Applicants can apply for only one component and may not apply for both.

Basic Implementation level will support those communities:

  1. Having existing infrastructure components that need to be strengthened,
  2. Having recently active coalitions and partnerships with a history of successfully working together on issues relating to health or other disparities,
  3. Selecting strategies that are based upon a community health needs assessment that has been completed since 2010, and
  4. Needing a discrete amount of time to strengthen infrastructure, activate coalitions and partners, and finalize work plans in order to be actively ready for implementation of locally tailored evidence- and practice-based, policy, systems, and environmental improvements.

Comprehensive Implementation level will support those communities:

  1. With existing, strong infrastructure components,
  2. Having recently active coalitions and partnerships with a history of successfully working together on issues relating to health or other disparities,
  3. Selecting strategies that are based upon a community health needs assessment that has been completed since 2010, and
  4. Having an infrastructure, a coalition and partnership network, and an existing work plan that allow the funded community to immediately implement locally tailored evidence- and practice-based, policy, systems, and environmental improvements.

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

Yes, grantees can collaborate with Prevention Research Centers on activities, such as evaluation.

Please 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). 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 the funding from this FOA cannot be used for construction and/or modernization projects.

The call in number and participant passcode is the same number and time/date for CDC-RFA-DP14-1418 (National Implementation & Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention). Is this a mistype for both funding opportunities? Is there a new number for CDC FOA-DP14-1419PPHF14 (REACH)?

The Informational conference call for potential applicants for FOA DP14-1419PPHF14 (REACH) is Call-in number:  877-918-9241 (toll free), Participant Passcode 5073952; May 30, 2014, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

 

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Purpose


 

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

This 3-year initiative will award funds to create healthier communities by strengthening existing capacity to implement locally tailored evidence- and practice-based population-based improvement strategies in priority populations experiencing chronic disease disparities and associated risk factors, and supporting implementation, evaluation and dissemination of these strategies. This FOA will also support effective implementation of existing PSE improvements and offers the opportunity for communities to take comprehensive action to address risk factors contributing to the most common and debilitating chronic conditions.

The intent of REACH is to also build an evidence base that supports community centered approaches to reducing or eliminating health disparities. Awardees should plan a strong evaluation of proposed activities and strategies. This will contribute to an increased understanding of how racial and ethnic minority communities and their partners can effectively reduce or eliminate health disparities, and achieve health equity.

What are the anticipated outcomes of this FOA?

As part of their local evaluation plan, awardees will be responsible for measuring and reporting short-term outcomes.  The short-term outcomes include the following:

  • Increased access to smoke-free or tobacco-free environments
  • Increased access to environments with healthy food or beverage options
  • Increased access to physical activity opportunities
  • Increased opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction or management through clinical and community linkages
  • Positive changes in attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, awareness, and behavioral intentions for relevant strategies

CDC will be responsible for measuring intermediate outcomes. The intermediate outcomes include the following:

  • Reduced exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Increased daily consumption of fruit
  • Increased daily consumption of vegetables
  • Increased physical activity
  • Increased consumption of healthy beverages
  • Increased use of community-based resources related to better control of chronic disease

CDC will also be responsible for estimating the long-term outcomes. The long-term outcomes
include the following:

  • 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.

I was wondering if you can explain the difference between the REACH and the PICH FOA.

Here are some examples of differences between PICH and REACH. The REACH FOA specifically focuses on working with racial and ethnic priority populations. The applicants need to identify those pre-existing policies, systems, and environments that in the past have made it difficult to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities. The primary focus of PICH is to promote community-wide change, and secondly to develop targeted approaches. PICH grantees are required to reach 75% of the jurisdiction population with the selected strategies. REACH grantees must reach 75% of the identified priority population.

You mentioned six grants, we only know of five.

The sixth grant is a program targeting counties with obesity rates of over 40 %. Eligible applicants are land grant institutions working with their network of cooperative extensions. It was posted this week.

If you submit a proposal under the basic implementation category, will you be in the category for the life of the project?

Yes, you will be assigned to that category for the project period.

Do we have to select poor nutrition and tobacco use, or could we select two strategies under tobacco exposure? Like smoke free housing and smoke free parks, is that sufficient?

You must select 2 out of the 4 risk factors listed in the FOA (i.e. physical inactivity, poor nutrition, poor clinical linkages to quality health care services, and tobacco use and exposure). So, you can implement multiple strategies under tobacco exposure, but you will have to pick one additional risk factor as well to include in your application. If you would like to focus solely on one risk factor, you can apply for the basic implementation category.

The RFP talks about improving established policies that haven’t been effective in certain populations. Can you only use strategies that will help improve established policies or can you work to establish additional strategies?

The goal of this initiative is to reduce health disparities that exist even with current policies in place. All strategies should focus on improving pre-existing policies, systems or environments.

If we apply for a basic grant now, if there were things we wanted to do a year later in a comprehensive grant but it was something we were already planning in a basic grant is that allowable? If we apply now for a basic implementation and as part of the planning of the basic implementation if we were ready to fully implement something within that three year timeframe, could we apply for a comprehensive implementation grant?

Within this FOA you would not be able to apply to become a comprehensive implementation awardee if you were initially funded to be a basic implementation awardee.

 

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Eligibility


 

If a county has received a REACH grant or a REACH sub-awardee grant, does that mean there should be no more basic applications coming from that county?

No. Eligibility is not based upon past funding.

Would a coalition be eligible to apply if the coalition took a break in meetings from April 2012–January 2013?

Yes, if your coalition was active from 2010–2012, then you will meet the minimum requirements. However, if your coalition was active in 2011 and in 2013 then you will not meet the minimum requirements of being active for 2 consecutive years. Per the FOA, the coalition should be actively engaged for at least 2 consecutive years since 2010 and has the capacity to conduct the work of this funding opportunity.

Are applicants required to use the same coalition in the application that was described in the LOI?

Yes. The coalition described in the LOI should be the coalition listed in the application to implement the proposed activities.

Is a non-profit community foundation able to apply on behalf of a coalition?

Yes. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. However, the applicant will have to demonstrate that a multi-sectorial coalition has been in place for 2 years and have the capacity to conduct the work of this funding announcement.

Can the lead organization applying for this FOA change after an LOI is submitted?

No.

We are not sure if our population fulfills the requirement of a priority population?

A population fulfills the requirements of a priority population if that population can be identified as African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, or Hispanic/ Latino.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Applicant entities include the following:

  • Local governments or their bona fide agents
  • Public nonprofit organizations
  • Private nonprofit organizations
  • For profit organizations
  • Small, minority, women-owned businesses
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Community-based organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Federally recognized or state recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribal governments
  • American Indian/Alaska Native tribally designated organizations
  • Alaska Native health corporations
  • Urban Indian health organizations
  • Tribal epidemiology centers
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities

Are previous REACH or CTG awardees able to apply?

Yes, all eligible entities are listed in the eligibility section of this FOA.

Is there a preference in this FOA for organizations that have been received funding through the Division of Community Health’s programs in the past?

No, all eligible entities are listed in the eligibility section of this FOA.

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?

No. Non-government Organizations can apply, such as nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education) and nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education). So, nonprofit without 501C3 IRS status (other than institution of higher education) can apply on its own behalf.

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

Yes, although all federal grant policy restrictions must be adhered to and FOA requirements must be met.

Are state government agencies eligible to apply for this FOA?

No. Eligible entities are listed in the FOA, page 33.

Is a school district an eligible applicant?

Yes. A school district could be considered a local governmental organization.

Could this grant opportunity be used for a diabetes service program?  Are there grant opportunities for establishing a diabetes prevention program?

No. This grant opportunity cannot be used to establish or operate a diabetes service/prevention program.

We have a strong coalition on asthma, but in terms of chronic diseases mentioned in the FOA, I don’t see asthma.  Is that a focus area under the tobacco area?

Asthma is not specifically mentioned as a focus area of this award. Applicants should make sure that the strategies and objectives proposed in the Community Action Plan align with the chronic disease risk factors and outcomes established for this funding opportunity.

This FOA appears to try to reach behaviors that cause health disparities in targeted populations. But I work for an organization that has served a community that believes that they are born with these effects, specifically sickle cell disease.

Sickle Cell Disease is not specifically mentioned as a focus area of this award. Those who suffer from Sickle Cell Disease and its effects could be included as members of the larger priority population an applicant proposes to work with.

I’m asking about eligibility as an applicant. We are considered a political subdivision of a state; they call us a local governing entity, for a seven county region. We provide behavioral health services. We are currently working in one of the counties with community health workers to address hypertension and diabetes. And we are also addressing mental health issues for this population. I assume we’re eligible for this opportunity?

If you are classified as a local government agency you would meet the basic eligibility requirements for this funding opportunity.

Are Pacific Islands eligible to apply?

Yes. A Pacific Island organization is eligible to apply if the organization meets the criteria of one of the listed eligible applicants in the FOA and meets all other criteria for eligibility, including a recent coalition.

State Departments of Public Health are not eligible to apply to this grant?

State Departments of Public Health are not eligible for this grant.

Can a fiscal agent apply for a nonprofit?

Per the FOA, page 33, only local governments are approved to have a bona fide agent apply on their behalf.

Our work focuses on prevention of pre-term delivery and low-birth weight.  Would that qualify as an impact focus?

An applicant must focus on policy, systems, and environmental improvements that address the strategies and achieve the outcomes described in the FOA. These include the chronic diseases and associated risk factors listed in the FOA, including tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and access to health care and disease management related to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Successful applicants must address this work.

Does a regional coalition that includes both an urban and suburban area qualify as eligible? Can we reach the required 75% of priority population cumulatively or aggregated across or within the two areas?

Yes. If the priority population crosses those geographic boundaries it may be served in this FOA. CDC would expect an applicant to reach 75% of that total priority population of both areas, combined.  

Our community does not currently have a REACH grant.  Will we be competing against established REACH grantees?

Organizations that have had or currently have REACH grants may apply for this FOA. Therefore, some of those applicants may be among the pool of applicants for this FOA. However, current or former REACH grantees do not receive extra points in the review process. This FOA is open to all interested applicants who meet the eligibility requirements. It is not limited to current or past REACH awardees.

Currently we have an existing grant from another CDC division focusing on PSE’s that partially funds our coalition – would that existing grant cause us to be ineligible for this one?

No. The FOA is open to all interested applicants who meet the eligibility requirements.

Will multiple applications from one organization be accepted for this FOA?

No. One application per organization will be accepted, unless an organization has separate units that have separate DUNS numbers. In this case, the organization may submit an application under each DUNS number. For example, a university and that university’s associated health system may each submit an application, if they each have separate DUNS numbers. If more than one application is submitted by the same organization, CDC will accept the most recent submission for review.

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Funding


 

Can funds be used to purchase supplies to support health education (e.g. participant workbooks) but not provide delivery of the health education?

Yes, as long as the products or supplies can be directly linked to the Community Action Plan goals and objectives relating to community based policies, systems, or environmental improvements.

Can the financial manager required by the FOA be, in-kind to the project?

Yes, as long as the FOA financial management requirements are met.

If a neighborhood group identified access to produce during the winter months as a barrier to healthy eating, could the REACH grant fund the purchase of a greenhouse for growing fresh produce?

It depends. These activities would be discouraged, or possibly not allowed, if not directly related to the overall Community Action Plan. Construction activities and the purchase of land and buildings are unallowable. If the purchase of a greenhouse falls into one of these categories, then the response is no. The purchase of a greenhouse is not encouraged and the focus should be on long-term sustainable activities that don’t involve construction or the purchase of land and buildings.

If findings from a community health needs assessment completed since 2010 supports that a priority population need could be addressed effectively and sustainably by these activities, and includes evaluation of intended impact and outcomes, then these types of activities could be supported by CDC funds after being negotiated between the awardee and CDC.

Explain quarterly draw-down system for payments. Is there any money up front or do we have to wait for the end of the first quarter?

Once the Notice of Award (NOA) is issued the awarded funds are available for the first year of the award in the recipient’s Payment Management Systems (PMS) account. Recipients are paid in advance, provided they maintain or demonstrate the willingness to maintain:

(i) Written procedures that minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement by the recipient; and
(ii) Financial management systems that meet the standards for fund control and accountability as established in the federal regulations.

While funds are available in the awardees PMS account, cash advances to a recipient organization shall be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the recipient organization in carrying out the purpose of the approved program or project. The timing and amount of cash advances shall be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the recipient organization for direct program or project costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs.

Because we do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, what are the guidelines for the percentages of an Executive Director salary that can be requested?

Cost Limitations as Stated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014

Cap on Salaries (Div. H, Title II, Sec. 203): None of the funds appropriated in this title shall be used to pay the salary of an individual, through a grant or other extramural mechanism, at a rate in excess of Executive Level II.

  • FY 2014 Awards Issued: October 1, 2013 through January 11, 2014 (Executive Level II) $179,700
    January 12, 2014 through September 30, 2014 (Executive Level II) $181,500

Note: The salary rate limitation does not restrict the salary that an organization may pay an individual working under an HHS contract or order; it merely limits the portion of that salary that may be paid with Federal funds

Is the support of multi-generational physical activity programming at a community park an allowable use of funds?

No. Funding of direct services is not allowable. If a programming activity would address PSE improvements in communities experiencing health disparities in the target community/priority population, support maybe allowed based upon the rationale and justification in the Community Action Plan.

Per Section A-Budget Summary, Column A, how should applicants enter the budget information (i.e., by each activity)?

The applicant should budget each category as a whole in Section A of the grant application. In the budget narrative, each proposed activity can be separated per cost.

If an organization provides direct services including outreach and screening, does that make the organization ineligible for REACH FOA?

Providing direct services does not make an organization ineligible to apply for the FOA. To be eligible the applicant must demonstrate that it meets the standards listed in the "Organizational Capacity" and "Special Eligibility Requirements" sections of the FOA. Providing direct services is NOT an activity supported by this FOA. The use of federal funds for direct services is inappropriate and is not within the scope of this FOA.

Appendix B of the FOA indicates one of the opportunities to maximize impact for physical inactivity is to "build capacity among providers." Can CDC clarify the use of awarded funds to build coalition and or program capacity?

Funding cannot be used to build capacity of program staff and or partners. Capacity building referred to in Appendix B pertains to enhancing capacity of providers through education programs and technical assistance to ultimately improve chronic disease outcomes.

Will applicants funded for basic implementation (planning year) receive the same amount of funding for all three years?

Yes: Awardees funded for basic implementation will receive the same amount of funding for all three years, subject to availability of funds and satisfactory progress.

Will applicants be allowed to increase funding in years 2 and 3 to focus on full implementation activities which are different from year 1 funds that focus on planning activities?

No. As stated in the funding opportunity announcement, applicants will submit a budget for year 1 (planning year) of the project period. The funding amount, however, will remain the same for all three years of the award, regardless of whether the year is for planning or implementation activities, subject to availability of funds. Applicants may propose some implementation activities to begin in year 1. Please refer to page 10 of the FOA.

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.

Can funding be used to purchase IT systems?

Awardees may use funds only for reasonable program purposes, including personnel, travel, supplies, and services, and may not use funding for clinical care. Generally, awardees may not use funds to purchase equipment. Any such proposed spending must be clearly identified in the budget for CDC review.

Can funding be used to hire staff that will help collect and manage the data?

Yes. Funding can be used to hire staff that will help collect and manage data.

Can funding be used to establish cooking classes in the priority communities?

Funding may not be used to provide cooking classes. This would be a prohibited direct service.

Are budget minimums, maximums, and averages annual or spread over 3 years?

Budget minimums, maximums and averages, as stated in the FOA are annual. Budget minimums, maximums and averages are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Are indirect costs to be calculated on top of or within the budget limits?

Indirect cost should be included within the budget limit.

How much funding is available for the FOA?

The approximate total fiscal year funding available is $35,000,000.

When will funds be made available to award recipients?

The funds will be made available to award recipients on September 30, 2014.  

What will be the average funding award for awardees?

The average award amount for Basic Implementation awardees is $400,000 (range: $300,000 - $500,000). The average award amount for Comprehensive Implementation awardees is $800,000 (range: $600,000 - $1,000,000).

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

No.

Are PPHF funds used to support this FOA?

Yes.

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

Yes, travel costs for required meetings should be included in the budget.

Are matching funds required?

No.

Can funds be used for construction?

This program is not authorized to conduct construction and/or modernization 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)(10)]. This authority does not apply to "program" specific FOA's. Therefore, recipients may not use REACH funding for construction (including, but not limited to, labor or materials). REACH 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.

Can funds in this 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. Awardees 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.

Will the purchase of EBT machines for farmers markets be an allowable expense for a proposed budget? If so, would it be considered equipment or supply in the budget narrative? If the machines are rented then would they be considered an equipment or supply purchase?

If EBT machines for farmers markets are determined to be necessary for the project by CDC, the costs will be allowable. If not necessary, the costs are not allowable per 2CFR225, Appendix A. If the costs are allowable, the classification of the EBT machines purchase costs as equipment or supplies is based on the applicant’s accounting policy. In the absence of capitalization threshold in the accounting policy, the $5,000.00 threshold per the cost principles is used for capitalization of the costs as either equipment or supplies. If the costs are allowable, the applicant has to perform a cost analysis of lease vs. purchase for economical choice as required in 45CFR92.36. If the lease (rental) is advantageous over purchase, the applicant should follow the 2CFR225, Appendix B, selected items 11, 15 & 37 to save the money.

Will funding be available to build capacity?

No, funding will not be available to build capacity. Basic Implementation applicants may use funding to strengthen infrastructure, activate coalitions and partners, and finalize work plans in order to be actively ready for implementation of locally tailored evidence- and practice-based, policy, systems, and environmental improvements.

Can funds be used to support research?

No.

For a 12 month period the basic project budget is $400,000, so if a project received funding for three years the total budget would be $1.2 million. Is that correct?

Yes that is correct.

How much of the total award would need to be allocated to sub-awards?

There is no restriction and no requirement for sub-awards. It is expected that the funded organization would have substantial involvement in project activities.

For CTG, they were awarded $1 a person. Will those same guidelines be used for this REACH grant?

Those requirements are not part of the REACH funding opportunity. The award amount is based on the requested amount and, if awarded, will be negotiated between CDC and the awardees. Budgets should be aligned with the requirements of the FOA.

 

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Application Process


 

To whom should the applicant address "Letters of Involvement?"

"Letters of Involvement," as referenced on pp. 20, 21, and 28-30 of the FOA, should be addressed to the applicant submitting the application.

Can the Project Director listed in an applicant's LOI serve as the interim Project Manager until a permanent project Manager is hired?

Yes.

What is the difference between the Background and the Problem Statement sections of the Project Narrative?

The Background is a brief overview of the chronic disease risk factors that the applicant proposes to address.

The Problem Statement is core information about the public health problem(s) that the applicant has identified. It includes details about the target population, chronic disease burden and associated health disparities that the target population is experiencing.

Page 58 of the FOA section H outlines other documents that can be uploaded as PDF files. Are all of the items in this list required documents?

Pages 34 to 45 describe the required documents. The Other Information section listed on page 58 refers to additional documents that are acceptable, as applicable to the applicant.

Should the table of contents be in a separate document from the narrative document?

Yes, it should be separate. See page 37, paragraph 8 Table of Contents of the FOA.

Can the REACH Community Action Plan Template be used for the work plan component of the narrative?

Yes, Appendix C can be used as the template. However, applicants can use a template that best fits their needs and conforms to other FOA requirements.

A minimum of 5 Letters of Involvement are required. Is it a requirement to have a minimum of 5 contributing coalition members?

Yes, there must be a minimum of five contributing coalition members. Page 11 of the FOA details the 5 required sectors that must be represented in a coalition.

How can an indirect rate be established for an applicant that does not have an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement with any Federal agency?

If the applicant has never had a federal grant award, CDC allows a provisional indirect rate of 10% for the first year based on direct cost salary and wages. The awardee will need to apply for an indirect rate from the Cognizant Agency – HHS Division of Cost Allocation. This Federal agency reviews, negotiates, and approves cost allocation plans and indirect (facilities and administrative) cost rates; monitors quality of non-Federal audit reports; conducts Federal audits as necessary; and resolves cross-cutting audit findings.

Is it correct that as primary award recipient we can only charge indirect costs with respect to the first $25,000 of each subcontract award?

No. It’s according to the recipient’s negotiated indirect rate agreement with a Cognizant Federal agency. The agreement will specify in detail what cost can be applied towards the indirect rate.
In order to charge indirect costs, the recipient must have a current, federally negotiated and approved indirect cost rate agreement.

Are applicants allowed to have informal discussions with a program officer about the application?

CDC is unable to answer any technical assistance questions regarding the FOA.

Does the budget for sub-awardees need to be itemized?

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 unknown, applicants may provide a general figure that supports the cost. When requesting funds in the contractual line item, the Procurement and Grants Office will request supporting documentation to approve the budget as follows: 1) detailed budget, 2) name of sub-awardee(s), 3) scope of work, 4) method of selection, 5) how the contract will be monitored, and 6) period of performance.

Are there resources within the FOA to assist applicants with defining the terms "Risk Factor", "Program Goal", and "Short-Term Outcome" or are these terms synonymous?

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

Risk Factor: A condition that can lead to the onset of chronic disease.
REACH Basic Implementation applicants should work on reducing at least one and Comprehensive Implementation applicants 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 REACH 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.

Will there be another opportunity to apply for this funding opportunity in 2015?

No.

Do Certification and Assurances have to be submitted for sub-recipients?

No. Sub recipients do not have to submit Certification and Assurances for this FOA.

Can applicants submit position descriptions for staff not yet hired acceptable in lieu of resumes for key staff (e.g., evaluation and communication staff)?

Yes. If staff will be hired post award, applicants can submit position descriptions.

Is CDC still accepting applications for The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program?

Yes. The deadline for application submission for REACH is July 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm US Eastern Daylight Time. 

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

Applicants applying for REACH 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

Could CDC provide an example of a completed 3-page CAP template for an objective that is not listed in the FOA?

The required contents of the CAP are detailed on pages 12-13; 16 -17; and 29 – 30. A sample CAP is provided on the REACH webpage at www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/REACH.

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 58 (e.g., CVs/Resumes, Organizational Charts/Evidence of Organizational Capacity, Letters of Involvement, and Letters of Support) do not count towards the 25-page limit for the narrative. (See pages 37-40). 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.

Is there a required format or page limit for CVs and resumes?

No, there is not a required format or page limit for CVs or resumes.

Can CDC provide the correct web link to the Target Intervention Area Tool, as described in the REACH FOA (pages 22 and 64) ?

The correct link is: 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.

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

The applications are due July 22, 2014, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time, on www.grants.gov. The awards will be announced on September 30, 2014.  

Do I need to provide letters of support?

Applicants can provide letters of support, as appropriate, and name the file “Letters of Support”, and upload it as a PDF at www.grants.gov. However, the letters of support are not considered as strong as the required “letters of involvement” from the members 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 Letter of Intent (LOI) without submitting an application?

Yes, however if the LOI is not followed by submitting an application by the required due date, the applicant will be considered non-responsive.

Is there a page limit for the project narrative?

Yes, there is a 25-page limit for the project narrative.

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

No, the budget is not included as a part of the total page limit. No, there is not a page limit specific to the budget narrative.

Should the Work Plan be included in the narrative or as an attachment? Do attachments count towards the 25-page limit for the narrative?

Project narrative is limited to 25 pages, single spaced, Calibri 12 point, 1-inch margins, number all pages. Content beyond 25 pages will not be considered. This 25 page limit includes the work plan.

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/REACH.  

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 initial contracts that would be considered by the applicant as a sub-awardee.

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Scoring


 

What type of review process will occur for this competition?

Applications will undergo a three-phase review process. In Phase I, CDC staff and PGO will review the applications for initial completeness. Phase II of the review process consists of an objective review panel that will evaluate complete and responsive applications in accordance with the “Criteria” section of the FOA. Finally, in Phase III, applications will be arranged in rank order and to the extent possible, funded in order by score and rank, as determined by the review panel. In addition, CDC can depart from the rank order to achieve a balance of awards based on the following:

  • Racial and ethnic diversity of priority population(s) served ;
  • Maintaining geographic diversity across the United States;
  • Ensuring that communities with evident health disparities are represented; and
  • Ensuring communities with high levels of poverty are represented.

Where are the application review criteria in the FOA?

The application review criteria are located in Section E – Application Review Information on page 45 – 47 of the REACH FOA.  

 

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Recipient Activities


 

What kinds of activities will awardees conduct?

This FOA supports two funding level categories: 

Basic Implementation and Comprehensive Implementation. Applicants will propose activities for the Comprehensive Implementation or Basic Implementation category. Applicants may not apply for both categories. The kinds of activities awardees will conduct that fall under these categories include:

  • Program infrastructure and organizational capacity
  • Fiscal management
  • Coalition activities
  • Community Action Plan development
  • Performance measurement and evaluation
  • Communication activities

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

Regarding page 19, with respect to tobacco, we have worked with several cities who have established policies for e-cigarettes. Can we continue to work on that like a legislative policy as we’ve done before? To reduce active use of e-cigs, will this be covered?

Applicants are reminded that federal dollars cannot be used to influence legislation. Page 64 of the FOA states, "for purposes of this FOA, policy refers to programs and guidelines adopted and implemented by institutions, organizations and others to inform and establish practices and decisions and to achieve organizational goals. Policy efforts do not include activities designed to influence the enactment of legislation, appropriations, regulations, administrative actions, or Executive Orders (“legislation and other orders”) proposed or pending before the Congress or any State government, State legislature or local legislature or legislative body, and awardees may not use federal funds for such activities."  In addition, applicants must focus on existing policies, systems, and environmental strategies that are not reducing disparities and implement strategies to address these gaps.

On Page 20, tobacco cessation support group, can this be facilitated by an evidence-based program like the American Lung Association, reducing smoking? We have three people who have been trained for that and we want to implement it at the here at our community clinic, can that be a strategy?

Funds from this FOA may not be used for direct services. However, funds may be used to implement systems that would improve access to evidence-based programs .

My question is regarding the suggested strategies on page 18?  Are these the limit on what are allowable strategies?

No, these are not the limit. They are just examples of strategies we know are evidence-based.

 

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Allowable Expenses


 

In implementing PSE changes, would this grant allow us to pay for signage prohibiting smoking in communities?  For example, if a church wanted to be tobacco-free could we use funds to post signage to support that policy change.

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.

Are there any limitations on who we can subcontract to (i.e., schools)?

There are no limitations on the entities with which you sub contract. We ask you to follow the federal policies and procedures we have outlined in the FOA.

Is coverage of community health workers in regards to the health management piece acceptable?

Yes, this is an acceptable strategy for community clinical linkages, although salaries and compensation for community health workers are not an allowable expense as part of this FOA.

Indirect costs – are they the regular indirect costs of the institution?

Yes. Applicants would use your negotiated indirect cost rate.

For broad-based and targeted strategies, can some funding be used for programming in addition to broad based environmental interventions? For example, can funds be used for a farmers market incentive programs?

No. CDC funds cannot be used to pay for incentives.CDC supports farmers market incentive programs like Healthy Bucks, however funds from this FOA may not be used to fund the purchasing of incentive coupons.

Would this grant fund a diabetes prevention program (perhaps housed in a church) to help improve access among our priority population? For example, the 16 week National Diabetes Prevention Program, in sites that would better reach our priority population in order to improve access to that program.

No. CDC funds cannot be used to pay for direct services. If an applicant plans to modify the environment to enhance the health system in which the diabetes prevention program resides, that would be acceptable. An example of modifying the environment is working with employers, health systems or health plans to cover the costs of the prevention programs for employees, members or patients, and connecting them to the community delivery system.

Can this grant support community health workers actual personnel cost under the community and clinical risk factor?

Direct services are not allowable expenses for this FOA. There is a list of different strategies on page 19 and 20 where community and clinical linkages strategies are described. If you look at the third example: increased number of training for a multidisciplinary team, it includes community health workers, and it’s an example of how the community health workers can be part of the different strategies.

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Letter of Intent (LOI)


 

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.

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 REACHLOI@cdc.gov

Do we need the LOI to specify if we are going to apply for the basic or comprehensive FOA?

No, the LOI does not need to state this, however it must be stated in the application package.

I see instructions for the LOI but no template. Is there a link to the template?

There is a sample template in appendix E of the FOA.

Regarding the LOI requirement describing the two projects that the coalition has worked with in the past – are you looking at initiatives that are already in progress or that have been completed?

CDC will accept both.

In the LOI, the instructions in one place say something different than the example in another place? Should the letter be double spaced? We are exceeding more than 2 pages to make the requirements fit in the template.

CDC will accept up to 4 pages (not to exceed four pages) to complete the LOI.

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Coalition Requirement


 

Are applicants permitted to expand relationships with organizations within the partnership network, which are not formal members of the coalition, but will be able to advance the goal of the proposed project or add new coalition members?

Yes. Organizations that are not formal members of an applicant’s coalition are permitted to contribute to the goals of the proposed project. Yes. New coalition members may be added post-award in order to maintain or enhance a multi-sectorial coalition.

Can the applicant submit one letter of involvement for a large multi-sectorial coalition?

Per the FOA on page 20, applicants must have a minimum of five Letters of Involvement, one from each contributing member of the coalition which details their involvement in the CAP. Failure to include those letters is considered nonresponsive to the FOA.

If an applicant has three coalitions coming together under one application, does each coalition need to focus on the same priority population and risk factor?

Coalitions can work with different priority populations and different risk factors. If applying at the Comprehensive Implementation level, two priority populations may be identified; with one of the coalitions representing one of the priority populations, and the other coalition representing the other priority population. The coalitions should be functioning, multi-sectorial groups that have been in existence for two consecutive years since 2010. Please visit the FAQ website to view the answer to a similar question that has been posted under "Coalition Requirements."

Can a coalition be part of two separate applications?

Yes, a coalition can participate on more than one application for REACH 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%.

What is acceptable documentation to establish that a coalition has been in existence for at least 2 full years?

Applicants must provide evidence of a fully developed and established coalition that has been active for at least two years, and actively involved in the planning, development and implementation of a community action plan (CAP). A variety of documents may be provided (e.g. minutes, coalition roster) to document the length of time a coalition has been in existence

We are a recipient of the CTG small communities’ grant, and as a result of that we have a leadership group who meet around a variety of these projects. Could we keep this leadership group as a qualified coalition for this FOA?

If that leadership group consists of at least the minimum number of multi-sectoral members as is outlined in FOA, they would qualify as a coalition. The applicant needs to provide the required evidence and documentation as described on the bottom of page 20 (Collaborations external to CDC) and the top of page 28 (Organizational Capacity of Awardees to Execute the Approach).

Coalition: We are a tribal organization that spans many sectors, schools, community health, and social services. In the coalition we have other partners that we would affiliate with. Do you have a number of participants in mind for the coalition?  What is the ratio of partners in the coalition that we look for?

The coalition must include:

  1. Representatives with two years experience serving the priority population in the tribal community as well as,
  2. Local health departments with similar health tribal organizations,
  3. Tribal or community based organizations,
  4. University or academic institutions, and
  5. Non traditional partners, for example parks and rec, transportation, environmental health, etc.

There is no upper limit of the number of coalition members/partners and there is no required number of partner members. Representation on the coalition should be based upon ability to contribute to reducing health disparities and chronic diseases and risk factors as identified in the FOA.

Our coalition will be two years old by September and have plans for an intervention program that fits within this specific project. Given that we’re just shy of the 2 year requirement – would we still qualify?

No. The coalition must have been in existence for at least two full years by the FOA application deadline of July 22, 2014.  

Can you further provide clarity on the expectation that a coalition be grounded in community action and a Community Based Participatory Approach (CBPA)? We certainly try to include community members whenever we can and get their feedback on our strategies. But I am not sure as to what you would be considered as being grounded in a CBPA.

The CBPA definition is provided in the FOA glossary and we also reference a site on CDC.gov that provides additional information.

Can you please explain the structure of the coalition that you’re expecting with this FOA? We have a coalition but we do not formally meet – we meet online or on the phone. Will our coalition fit into the structure?

Applicants will have a multi-sectorial coalition that is actively engaged at the community level with a lot of partners who are invested in work at the community level. Examples of engaged coalition members include local health departments or similar tribal health organizations or local education agencies, among others. The work needs to occur in the community. Members of the multi-sectorial coalition will engage with each other on a regular basis, including regular meetings (in person, online, or by phone), and in the context of this FOA,Members of the multi-sectorial coalition will be actively engaged in advancing the work of the FOA.

We have gone through a public health improvement process that led to what we call an “implementation team,” formed by people from diverse sectors of the community; we don’t call ourselves a coalition but we meet on a monthly basis and have materials to prove that we’ve been meeting for the past few years. We aren’t called a coalition but we think we function as one; do we actually have to be called a coalition?

If you can demonstrate that this group meets the requirements of a multi-sectorial coalition, then that would be acceptable.

If we have two coalitions that are both addressing different health areas (one on Tobacco, one on Food)  can we apply on behalf of both coalitions? The targeted coalitions would be working together closely on implementation.

The applicant must submit one application. If applying for the Comprehensive Implementation level, two priority populations may be identified, with one of the coalitions (i.e. Food) representing one of the priority populations and the other coalition (i.e. Tobacco) representing the other priority population.

If we have established coalitions working with two different ethnic populations in two different parts of the state, would that be acceptable?

Yes, this is acceptable.

In regards to the coalition, are there any restrictions for the relationship of the PI with the coalition, or the university’s relationship with the coalition?  For instance at the university, there is a coalition that was established among two universities and they have working groups that involve the community on various health services and initiatives, so that is a relationship among the university that is responding to the FOA.  Is that allowed or does the coalition have to be completely separate from the university itself?  If the PI is involved in the coalition as the director or have a role in the coalition, is that acceptable?

As long as the coalition includes representatives from the community and other organizations mentioned in the FOA that is acceptable. There is an important expectation for the PI and/or Program Manager to be engaged with the coalition in terms of what is coming out of the coalition as priorities or suggested strategies that you have identified, and for the PI and coalition to have a really close working relationship. This would not be a conflict.

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Population Requirements


 

Can the target population be segmented into a smaller subset of a priority population group, (e.g., African American females versus African American families)?

Yes. The target population can be segmented into a smaller subset of a priority population group (e.g., African American females).  However, the applicant has to illustrate how the proposed strategies will reach 75% of the selected priority population across multiple settings as required in the funding announcement. Please refer to page 13 of the FOA.

If an applicant’s target population is transitional and cannot be identified as residing in one census tract, can the applicant select the city that encompasses the population as their geographic area?

REACH activities are place-based and designed to improve the environment within which the selected population resides. Transitional populations (that are moving from place to place) may not be well reached by this work.

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 HS diploma" or other supplemental data related to community health needs assessment or community context?

Applicants can access these data using the following recommended web site, www.communitycommons.org/chi-planning, and selecting the tab “Access Target Area Intervention Tool” [Note that this web site requires users to log in with a userid and password]. However, these data can alternatively be obtained from the census bureau: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml.

I was wondering about the size of the community. One of our communities where we have a coalition established has about 22,000 residents and the other we work with has 40,000. Would that combined total be a large enough community?

We don’t have any limitations on the size of the community in this FOA.

I have a question related to geographic area and anticipated number of people served. How large of a geographic area are you expecting? Is one or two counties appropriate? And is there a certain percentage or number of minority or priority population necessary?

If a priority population spreads across two counties that is acceptable. There is no limitation on the number of people.

On page 16, it speaks about comprehensive implementation and community action plans. Do we need to identify at least two chronic disease risk factors for each priority population?

At least two risk factors need to be identified for each population you are working with.

If we’re interested in working with a school district and priority populations in the district, do we need to reach 75% of the overall population in that targeted Census area?

Yes, you would need to reach 75% of the overall priority population within that targeted Census area.

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Evaluation


 

Does the CDC definition of research exclude data collection and analysis done as part of the evaluation, i.e., sampling design, survey or other data collection, data analysis, etc.?

Whether data collection and analysis are identified as research activities by CDC depends on the intended use of the findings. If the intention is to understand and / or assess a specific program for the purposes of program improvement, CDC would likely not consider this research. However, if the intention is to generalize and make recommendations regarding public health practice more broadly, this is more likely to fit CDC’s definition of a research activity.

Please clarify the distinctions between Project Period Objectives/Outcomes and Annual Objectives/Outcomes and describe the relation to the logic model and short-term/long term outcomes.

As indicated in Appendix C of the Funding Opportunity Announcement, a Project Period Objective (PPO) measures how many people will be affected by the "reach" of all the Annual Objectives (AOs) associated with the PPO. AOs, in turn, indicate what an applicant’s intervention strategy is anticipated to achieve in a given funding year. Each AO specifies the number of units within a particular setting (e.g., the number of units might be the total number of schools or parks) will be affected and each AO has an estimated reach.

When applicants are thinking about the relationship between their objectives and logic model, the applicant’s plan (that specifies their intervention strategies and objectives) is largely aligned with the “activities” column of the logic model. The achievement of the objectives in an applicant’s plan is then associated with achieving short term outcomes (in the CDC logic model, the short term outcome is the estimated reach). In turn, long term outcomes (e.g., behavioral and health outcomes) are associated with the achievement of short term outcomes. As indicated in the Glossary on page 64 of the FOA, a Project Period Outcome is an outcome that is expected to be achieved by the end of the funding period.

Should the applicant submit an evaluation plan?

Yes. Applicants must provide an overall jurisdiction or community-specific evaluation and performance measurement plan where the data collected must be used for ongoing monitoring of the award to evaluate its effectiveness, and for continuous program improvement.

If so, are there guidelines as to what it should cover?

Yes. The plan must:

  • Describe how key program partners will be engaged in the evaluation and performance measurement planning processes.
  • Describe the type of evaluations to be conducted (i.e., process and/or outcome).
  • Describe key evaluation questions to be answered.
  • Describe other information, as determined by the CDC program (e.g., performance measures to be developed by the applicant) that must be included.
  • Describe potentially available data sources and feasibility of collecting appropriate evaluation and performance data.
  • Describe how evaluation findings will be used for continuous program and quality improvement.
  • Describe how evaluation and performance measurement will contribute to development of that evidence base, where program strategies are being employed that lack a strong evidence base of effectiveness.

Awardees will be required to submit an evaluation plan for any strategy implemented in a new priority population or setting within 30 days after the CAP is finalized, as outlined in the reporting section of the FOA.

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Other


 

Are elected officials prohibited from developing the response and participating in the implementation of the FOA, i.e., coalition member, work plan development, etc.?

Elected officials and other multi-sectorial partners may be a part of the grantee's coalition and other discussions. The grantee is ultimately responsible, under the terms of the award, for the development and implementation of the work plan and for the objectives outlined in the grant.

Please note that all awardees must follow guidelines set forth in Additional Requirement 12: Lobbying Restrictions, and in the Additional Guidance on Lobbying for CDC Awardees, and any other federal laws and regulations as stated on pages 43 and 49 of the FOA. Links to Additional Requirement 12: Lobbying Restrictions and Additional Guidance on Lobbying for CDC Awardees are found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/additional_req.shtm

AND

http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/Anti-Lobbying_Restrictions_for_CDC_Grantees_July_2012.pdf [PDF 509KB]

Applicants receiving monies from this FOA are prohibited from activities that are perceived as lobbying. Can you provide some concrete examples of prohibited activities?

Applicants cannot use federal funds for activities designed to influence the enactment of legislation, appropriations, regulations, administrative actions, or Executive Orders (“legislation and other orders”) proposed or pending before the Congress or any State government, State legislature or local legislature or legislative body. This restriction extends to both grass-roots lobbying efforts and direct lobbying. However, for state, local, and other governmental grantees, certain activities falling within the normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships or participation by an agency or officer of a state, local, or tribal government in policymaking and administrative processes within the executive branch of that government are not considered impermissible lobbying activities and may be supported by federal funds.

Examples regarding permissible and impermissible uses of federal funds can be found in the Additional Guidance on Lobbying for CDC Awardees. Please see the following links for more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/Anti-Lobbying_Restrictions_for_CDC_Grantees_July_2012.pdf [PDF 509KB]

AND

http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/grants/additional_req.shtm

Does NIH salary cap apply to this grant?

Yes, the NIH salary cap applies to this grant.

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 award recipients.

In addition, please note that grantee activities are not restricted under Section 503 if the grantee is using funding sources other than Federal appropriations to engage in those activities. At the same time, grantee activities may be limited by state law or other applicable restrictions, such as provisions in the Internal Revenue Code. Grantees may wish to consult 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

 

Terms Used in FOA

 

Does local government include county and specifically county public health departments?  

Yes, county public health departments are among the local government organizations that are eligible.
Budget

 

Project Management Staffing Requirements

 

Page 27 states that staff must be physically located in the community. Is this the whole staff (including part time) or just key personnel?

The program manager should be working within or near the priority population community. CDC encourages applicants to have as many staff as possible working within or near the priority population community.

Questions Regarding Additional Research

 

On page 27, the FOA says that staff must be physically located within the communities. We’re a statewide agency considering providing services in a few different communities but we don’t have an office in those communities. We would be proposing to put staff in those communities on a periodic and regular basis, but we physically don’t have an office. Would that meet the requirements? We have strong partners in the communities that can give us office space on a regular basis.

State governmental agencies are not eligible to apply for this funding opportunity. If the agency is a statewide non-governmental agency that has local affiliates with demonstrated community level health related activities and a track record for meeting the community level needs, and those local affiliates are located in the “few different communities,” with a physical location for the community to be able to access the programs, the program could be eligible. The applicant needs to demonstrate that the agency staff, and the full time program manager, is going to effectively manage the work necessary to accomplish all goals and objectives as proposed in the application when splitting time among multiple communities.  In order to be effective, the program will need to have a presence in the community that clearly demonstrates community based participatory approaches. The applicant must have full time local presence in the priority population community or communities.

My question has to do with the page limitations. You mention the limit of 25 pages. On page 58 of the FOA you have the list of documents that can be included. So the page number of 25 pages, does that include project narrative and work plan on the list?

Yes it does. There is no page limit on appendices. Grants.gov does have character limits on the size of the application it will accept.

Community Health Needs Assessment – are there specific elements of the needs assessment that we need to include in the application?

As described on page 3, strategies in the Community Action Plan (CAP) should be selected based on a community health needs assessment completed since 2010 and where (as indicated in the glossary to the FOA) a community health needs assessment is a process that uses quantitative and qualitative methods to systematically collect and analyze data to understand health within a specific community. An ideal assessment includes information on risk factors, quality of life, mortality, morbidity, community assets, forces of change, social determinants of health and health inequity. Applicants will also want to refer to the Community Action Plan review criteria on page 46 of the FOA. For example, the criteria discuss inclusion of a needs assessment report; identifying poverty and educational attainment of the population(s) by census tract; and evidence of having considered these factors in determining where to implement strategies proposed in the CAP.

It was stated earlier on the call that the same organizations cannot put forward multiple applications. Is this true for Universities?

No. One application per organization will be accepted, unless an organization has separate units that have separate DUNS numbers. In this case, the organization may submit an application under each DUNS number. For example, a university and that university’s associated health system may each submit an application, if they each have separate DUNS numbers. If more than one application is submitted by the same organization, CDC will accept the most recent submission for review.

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