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