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Steps Update

August 13, 2004

Cooperative Agreement Program

The Steps Cooperative Agreement Program
The Steps to a HealthierUS (Steps) Cooperative Agreement Program is one part of Secretary Tommy G. Thompson’s larger Steps Initiative. This program aims to help Americans live longer, better, and healthier lives by reducing the burden of diabetes, overweight, obesity, and asthma and addressing three related risk factors — physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use. In FY 2003, $15 million was provided to 24 communities to support innovative community-based programs that are proven effective in preventing and controlling chronic diseases. In FY 2004, $44 million is available to increase funding to existing communities and fund additional grantees. The Steps Update provides the latest information on the Steps Cooperative Agreement Program.

Steps Taken

Update on RFAs for FY 2004 Funding
More than 100 applicants are seeking FY 2004 Steps funding, in response to two requests for applications (one RFA for communities and another for national organizations) published in May 2004.

The following 104 communities responded to the community RFA:

  • 55 city applicants.
  • 15 tribal applicants.
  • 34 state/territory coordinated applicants.

In addition, 10 organizations responded to the national organization RFA.

The technical reviews took place during the first weeks of July, and the objective review panel met July 29-30 in Washington, DC. The new funded communities and organizations will be announced no later than September 22. For more information and updates, visit our Web site (www.healthierus.gov/steps).

National Partner Workgroup Will Meet in September
The second meeting of the National Partnership Workgroup is scheduled for September 23 in Washington, DC. The workgroup will continue to discuss ways to help promote the Steps program and partner with the funded communities. Please contact Emma Green at NACCHO (egreen@naccho.org) if your organization is interested in joining the workgroup.

Continuation Applications Reveal Success Stories
All 12 of the currently funded communities have submitted applications to continue participating in the Steps program. The community action plans, which are included as a part of these continuation applications, describe some of the successful programs the communities are conducting. Here are a few examples:

In Colorado, the Teller County Sheriff's Office launched the county's first worksite wellness program as part of its Steps program. Using law enforcement fitness standards established by the Cooper Institute, the sheriff's office has offered fitness testing to all of its employees.

In Florida, the Pinellas Steps program is encouraging area restaurants to add healthy choices to their children's menus. The Pinellas Steps nutritionist reviews the menu changes to ensure they are healthy. Participating restaurants receive a window decal and promotion on the PinellasWellness.com website as being "Kid's Heroes."

In Salinas, California, the Steps program is training community health providers to help them establish patient and physician reminder systems, expand self-management education, and improve case management systems.

By June 2004, 53 girls had participated in "Seattle-Girls on the Run" in South and Southwest Seattle, Washington. All of the girls participated in their first practice 5-K run, and 45 of them participated in their first community road race.

The Philadelphia Steps program has forged several new partnerships within the community. The program played a key role in convening the first Steps Faith-Based Coalition. As a result, programs have been launched at several new faith-based sites.

CDC Conducts Site Visits in New Orleans and Boston
In May, representatives of the CDC Steps Program Office visited the New Orleans Steps program, which is administered by the New Orleans Health Department and the Louisiana Public Health Institute. The visit allowed CDC staff to learn more about the program's successes, such as how interventions are being developed and guided by the Leadership Team and Community Consortium and how a neighborhood coordinator/urban planner housed in the City Planning Commission is collaborating with the Steps program to revitalize and promote neighborhood parks and recreation.

During a June site visit to the Steps to a Healthier Boston program, CDC staff learned about exciting interventions such as the NeighborWalk campaign, which includes walking groups and addresses additional focus areas of diabetes and asthma. Boston staffers have developed media materials to promote the program and are collecting data to evaluate the campaign's outcomes. CDC staff also had the opportunity to participate in a 3-mile walk with community representatives from all over Boston.

Next Steps
CDC Steps program consultants are planning site visits for each of the funded communities.  The following visits are tentatively planned for the next few months:

  • Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan — August 24-27.
  • Seattle — September 7-10.
  • Washington  — September 7-10.
  • New York — September 13-16.
  • Pinellas County — Florida: September 22-24.
  • Austin, Texas — October 25-28.
  • Colorado — November 15-18.
Please check each Steps Update for new calendar listings.

September 22, 2004 — New community grantees and national organization grantee(s) announced.

• Update • Update • Update • Update • Update • Update • Update • Update •
Please feel free to forward this and future Steps Updates to your constituents and colleagues.  If you know of individuals who would like to receive this directly, please notify Tracey Teuber (tteuber@cdc.gov).

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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