Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health


REACH is a national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. REACH celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019.

Through REACH, recipients plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Alaska Native persons.

Why is ending health gaps important?

A core principle of public health is that every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. CDC seeks to remove barriers to health linked to race or ethnicity, education, income, location, or other social factors.

Health gaps remain widespread among racial and ethnic minority groups.

  • In 2017-March 2020, non-Hispanic Black (50%) and Hispanic (46%) adults had a higher prevalence of obesity than non-Hispanic White adults (41%).
  • In 2017-March 2020, the prevalence of diabetes was 21% among Hispanic adults, 19% among non-Hispanic Black adults, 18% among non-Hispanic Asian adults, and 12% among non-Hispanic White adults.

How are REACH projects funded?

REACH gives funds to state and local health departments, tribes, universities, and community-based organizations. Recipients use these funds to build strong partnerships to guide and support the program’s work. Along with funding, CDC provides expert support to REACH recipients. View REACH fact sheet.

2022 REACH Lark Award Challenge

Thamara Labrousse from Live Healthy Miami Gardens in Florida along with Healthy Savannah in Savannah, Georgia, are winners of the 2022 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Lark Galloway-Gilliam Award for Advancing Health Equity.

The award recognizes extraordinary individuals, organizations, or community coalitions associated with the REACH program. Award recipients have meaningfully assisted with and carried out culturally tailored interventions that advance health equity, reduce health disparities, and increase community engagement to address preventable health risks.

The award is named in memory of Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the founding executive director of California’s Community Health Councils, Inc.

Current REACH Programs

CDC funds recipients to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest burden of chronic disease such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Recipients work through culturally tailored interventions to address preventable risk behaviors, including tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.

Tools to help achieve health equity
Program Impact

Racial and ethnic health gaps are complex. They are affected by factors related to individuals, communities, society, culture, and the environment. To address these factors, REACH partners bring together members of the community to plan and carry out many different strategies to address many different health issues and provide impact to local communities.

Past Programs

Since 1999, REACH recipients have used community-based, participatory approaches to identify, develop, and disseminate effective strategies for addressing health disparities.

Connect with Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity