The Richmond County Health Department has joined the regional Community Transformation Grant Project.
The CTG Project is a state-funded initiative that promotes tobacco-free living, active living, and healthy eating among 900,000 residents in the region of 10 counties. North Carolina has 10 regions. Those counties in region six are Anson, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland.
The project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and is designed to support community efforts to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
The five-year grant from the North Carolina Division of Public Health targets the economic, social and physical root causes of chronic disease within the 10-county region.
In 2011, approximately $103 million in prevention funding was awarded to 61 states and communities serving approximately 120 million Americans.
In 2012, the program was expanded to help areas with less than 500,000 people by giving approximately $70 million to 40 communities.
North Carolina’s CTG Project funds are administered across several regions by the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
In 2011 and 2012, North Carolina was awarded more than $7 million, according to the CDC.
Richmond County received the money because the State of North Carolina split money it received among the 10 regions, said Region 6 communications coordinator Paulette Moore. She said that although the money won’t be used to make policies, it will be used to help with existing programs.
Moore said one example of that would be working with municipalities to become either smoke-free or tobacco-free.
Moore said that three people, herself included, divided the counties in Region 6. She works with Richmond, Anson, Montgomery and Scotland County. In 2012, those four counties were awarded $150,000 collectively.
Intended as a collaborative, community-driven effort, the CTG Project expects counties to implement prevention strategies proven to have a positive impact on health and health disparities with a focus on reducing exposure to secondhand smoke in both indoor and outdoor locations, promoting healthier food and beverage options at convenience stores, establishing and enhancing local farmers’ markets, mobile markets and farm stands and developing joint-use agreements with community organizations to increase access to physical activity opportunities.
Tommy Jarrell, health director of the Richmond County Health Department, said health data shows that the leading causes of death and disability in Richmond County are heart disease, diabetes and lung cancer.
“The Community Transformation Grant Project will directly address these diseases by working with community resources and hopefully help to reduce health care costs,” Jarrell said.
According to the CDC, the project is expected to help every four out of 10 people.
For information about how to help with the CTG Project, call Paulette Moore at 910-997-8327.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.