Multi-sector coordination of public health, health care, housing, transportation, and other social services is vital to addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) and improving health outcomes. To help catalyze such coordination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) inviting states, local governments, Tribal governments, and territories to apply for funding to develop multi-sector Accelerator Plans that lead to improved chronic disease outcomes among persons experiencing health disparities and inequities.
“Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans” is a first-of-its-kind opportunity from the federal government, and will set a foundation for cross-sector, evidence-based social determinants activities across the country.
Who is eligible?
The NOFO provides an opportunity for states, localities, territories, and tribes to apply for up to $125,000 in grant funding to develop Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans. Eligible applicants include: state governments (or their bona fide agents); local governments (or their bona fide agents); territorial governments or their bona fide agents; county, city or township governments; special district governments; Native American tribal governments that are federally recognized; and Native American tribal organizations. At least one territory and one tribe will be funded. To ensure geographic diversity, no more than three state and local applicants per HHS region will receive awards.
Although eligibility is limited to states, localities, territories, and tribes, applicants are encouraged to engage government agencies, private businesses, non-profit and community organizations, and health care entities as planning partners in developing their Accelerator Plans.
What are the grants for?
CDC will grant up to 20 awards, which may be used to organize a Leadership Team consisting of multisectoral partners to develop an implementation-ready SDOH Accelerator Plan. The purpose of these plans is to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities related to chronic disease in a tribal jurisdiction, community, or catchment area.
In identifying this Leadership Team to engage in building these plans, the CDC says grantees should “employ a community-based participatory approach that includes shared decision making and builds upon the collective assets of the community.” The Leadership Team should be composed of at least two community members who have an understanding of the populations that will be served by the grantee, and at least five leaders from different sectors that can help with the development of the SDOH Accelerator Plans to address the SDOH priority areas included in the plan. The NOFO provides examples of potential leadership members.
Applicants will need to identify a community and population of focus, and identify a corresponding population disproportionately impacted by disparities related to chronic disease. SDOH Accelerator Grant recipients will use the funding to develop the implementation-ready SDOH Accelerator plan in collaboration with their Leadership Teams, and must submit the plan to CDC.
What could this look like in practice?
Many communities have pulled together cross-sector collaborations to address the health and social needs of the communities they serve. Two examples include:
- Live Well San Diego – Through collective impact and support of the County of San Diego, this program aligns efforts across sectors – including health care, social services, education, and others – to improve the lives and health of San Diego County residents. Over 500 organizations throughout the region have committed to partnering to improve health and well-being. Organizational leaders and community members gather regionally to identify priority needs, plan community improvements, and conduct activities to improve the health and well-being of their communities.
- Cross-sector Innovation Initiative (CSII) – The Center for Sharing Public Health Services (CSPHS) and Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), co-lead this three-year initiative to identify and support public health, health care, and social services organizations working to build cross-sector connections to meet the needs of the populations they serve. The goal of CSII is to support, promote, and disseminate learning about the role of governmental public health departments in aligning efforts across sectors to improve population health and emphasize the value of cross-sector collaborations to improve health equity. Thus far, 10 grantees in communities across six states have participated in this initiative.
How to Apply
Interested applicants must submit a project narrative that is limited to six pages along with their application for this NOFO. Applications are due by July 6, and the anticipated award date is September 30. For questions, please reach out to SDOH2111@cdc.gov by June 23 at 5pm ET.