Investments in Community Health
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
REACH is a national initiative vital to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. Through REACH, CDC supports awardee partners that establish community-based programs and culturally-tailored interventions to eliminate health disparities among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.
Why is eliminating health disparities important?
The CDC believes every person should have the opportunity to attain his or her full health potential. CDC seeks to eliminate barriers to achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances. Health disparities remain widespread among members of racial and ethnic minority populations.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States.
- Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (44.1%) followed by Mexican Americans (39.3%).
- Compared to non-Hispanic whites, the risk of diagnosed diabetes is 18% higher among Asian Americans, 66% higher among Hispanics/Latinos, and 77% higher among non-Hispanic blacks.
What is REACH doing in the community?
REACH partners use community-based, participatory approaches to identify, develop, and disseminate effective strategies for addressing health disparities across a wide range of health priority areas such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast and cervical cancer, infant mortality, asthma, immunization, and obesity. Because the causes of racial and ethnic health disparities are complex and include individual, community, societal, cultural, and environmental factors, REACH’s approaches cut across a number of evidence- and practice-based interventions by:
- Supporting community coalitions that design, implement, evaluate, and disseminate community-driven strategies to eliminate health disparities in chronic disease.
- Providing the infrastructure to implement, coordinate, refine, disseminate, and evaluate successful evidence- or practice-based approaches and programs in local communities.
- Supporting national and international organizations, with local affiliates and chapters, to share evidence- and practice- based strategies and culturally-based community practices to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.
- Increasing the evidence around effective strategies to reduce obesity and hypertension in racial and ethnic communities.
- Funding community-based organizations to reduce health disparities.
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