REACH Lark Award Challenge 2024

At a glance

The third biennial Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Lark Galloway-Gilliam Award for the Advancing Health Equity (REACH Lark Award Challenge) is now accepting applications. This award is in honor of Lark Galloway-Gilliam’s meaningful and far-reaching contributions to the REACH program and health equity.

Logo badge includes REACH Lark Award with a green center and gold trim and the REACH program name in a circle around the badge.

Submissions open

CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity is pleased to announce applications are now open until July 12 for the 2024 REACH Lark Award Challenge. Read more about the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program and REACH Lark Award Challenge.

Key dates and deadlines‎

Monday, April 29: Submissions for the Lark Award Challenge are now open. Application and the name of the nominee must be submitted by July 12 to be considered for this Awards cycle.

Friday, July 12 (11:59 p.m. EST): Entry application closes. No applications may be submitted for consideration after this date.

July—August: Judging process

Fall-Winter 2024: Winners will be announced


The REACH Lark Award Challenge is open to the public. To be eligible for this award, nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Complete the application (for self-nominees) or have had an application submitted on their behalf (for those nominated by others) for the competition under the rules promulgated by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Comply with all the requirements under this section and satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • Be a currently or previously funded CDC REACH recipient that has not previously received the REACH Lark Award Challenge in any year; or
    • Be a technical assistance provider to past or current REACH recipients. Learn about DNPAO REACH recipients.; or
    • Be a partner organization, part of a partner network, or coalition members that collaborated on REACH-related work with a current or previously funded REACH recipient;
  • Be either:
    • A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, eighteen years of age or older, if the nominee is an individual or group of individuals; or
    • Incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, if the nominee is an entity; where the United States means a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any other territory or possession of the United States;
  • Not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
  • Not be a current employee of or contractor of CDC.
  • Federal grantees shall not use federal funds to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications for this challenge;
  • Federal contractors shall not use federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission;
  • An individual or organization shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or organization used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.


The "applicant" refers to each individual, organization, or community coalition that submits an application or nomination—and by participating—represents, warrants, and agrees that the entry contains accurate information. The "nominee" refers to each individual or organization/community coalition who is nominated, whether self-nominated or nominated by a separate individual or organization. If an applicant is nominating another individual, organization, community coalition (e.g., not self-nominating), the applicant must provide acknowledgement in writing that the nominee consents to being nominated.

Applicants and nominees must agree to be recognized if selected as a winner and agree to participate in an interview with CDC staff to provide information that may be used by CDC staff to write a success story that describes the intervention(s) that advanced health equity. Winners and their intervention(s) may be recognized, and the success story may be made public, including but not limited to, posted on the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity website, the CDC website, social media, or other communication platforms, some combination of these communication channels, or all of these channels.

By participating in this challenge, applicants agree to assume any and all risks related to participating in the challenge. Applicants also agree to waive claims against the federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, when participating in the challenge, including claims for injury; death; damage; or loss of property, money, or profits; and including those risks caused by negligence or other causes.

Submission guidelines

To compete for this award, individuals and organizations must submit an application form. Once completed, email the application form to the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Policy Office at

Application process


• Responses to questions related to eligibility.
• Answers to three questions related to the nominee's work.
• Each answer should be no longer than 300 words.

Email your completed application form to along with supplemental materials for consideration. The email subject line should indicate 2024 REACH Lark Award Challenge application and the name of the nominee.


The application period will open April 29, 2024. CDC will accept applications through July 12, 2024, 11:59 EST.


No cash prize will be awarded. A maximum of two applicants (one individual and one organization/community coalition) associated with the REACH program will be a recipient of the 2024 REACH Lark Award Challenge.

Recipients of the REACH Lark Award Challenge will receive a plaque. While the recipient may be invited to meetings by CDC, attendance at such events is not required as a condition of accepting the award.

Judging panel

CDC will select judges based on their knowledge of the REACH program, the science and practice of advancing health equity, and the elimination of health disparities at the national, state, or local levels.

Judges may include REACH program senior advisors, other CDC employees, or nonfederal individuals from outside the agency. Participating as a previous REACH Lark Award Challenge judge does not disqualify an individual or organization from being an award recipient for the 2024 challenge.

Judges may recuse themselves in the event of a conflict of interest per the Competes Act 15 U.S.C. § 3719.

Judging process

CDC will facilitate a panel of three to five judges that will review the applications and select up to two award recipients (one individual and one organization or community coalition) from all eligible entries in accordance with the scoring criteria in application form. Applications will be judged by:

  • The extent to which the nominee worked to address chronic disease risk factors among priority populations experiencing health disparities for chronic disease including the following: Black or African American people, American Indian/ Alaska Native people, Hispanic or Latino people, Asian people, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander people.
  • The extent to which the risk factor(s) addressed align with the REACH program’s goals of advancing health equity. Find more information about past REACH programs. Examples of risk factors that align with the goals of the REACH program include poor nutrition, physical inactivity, inadequate access to clinical services, and tobacco use.
  • The extent to which the nominee’s work contributed to developing, implementing, and/or evaluating strategies that were:
    • Evidence-based or practice-based
    • Culturally tailored, and designed to reduce health inequities
    • Supportive of policy, systems, and/or environmental change
  • The extent to which the nominee engaged members of the community and partners across different sectors in identifying and implementing strategies.
  • The extent to which the nominee’s work resulted in progress toward addressing preventable risk factors in the population(s)/group(s) identified above.

Applicants can also submit supplemental materials that demonstrate the nominee’s work and/or impact. Supplemental materials are not to exceed 10 total pages. Examples of supplementary materials include: PDF of online content, and other forms of written materials e.g., news articles, evaluation reports, or success stories.

After the selection process is completed, top applicants (inclusive of the winner(s)) may be asked to participate in a telephone discussion about the interventions used by the individual or team to successfully promote health equity and reduce health disparities. Themes from these discussions may be shared publicly to provide information to promote innovative interventions that led to progress toward reducing health disparities.

Applicants, nominees, and the REACH Lark Award Challenge winners must comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein. The winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of the judging.

Terms and conditions

CDC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, for any reason, at CDC's sole discretion.

Participation in this Challenge constitutes an applicants' full and unconditional agreement to abide by the Challenge's Official Rules.

Contact us

Email questions about your submission to CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Policy Office at

Thank you for your interest in the 2024 REACH Lark Award Challenge.