RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — As part of an effort to establish healthier communities, researchers at RTI International will evaluate the effectiveness of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Transformation Grant program.
Community Transformation Grants (CTG) provide grants to implement policy and/or environmental changes that are designed to reduce rates of chronic disease such as heart disease, prevent the development of secondary conditions such as diabetes, and reduce health disparities.
In September 2011, 61 awardees from state or local governmental and non-governmental agencies, tribes, or territories were awarded CTG funding to implement policy or environmental changes that encourage tobacco-free living, active lifestyle, and healthy eating and promote clinical preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
As part of the seven-year project, worth almost $60 million, researchers at RTI, led by Dr. Debra J. Holden, will assess CTG's impact on related community and individual health outcomes.
Their work includes population surveillance on selected health behavior outcomes, as well as implementation of enhanced evaluation studies to build the evidence base to better understand those strategies that are most likely to impact long-term health outcomes.
RTI researchers will assess participants' exposure to the policy and environmental changes made in select communities and evaluate the relationship between these changes and important health behaviors associated with chronic diseases, such as smoking, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating habits.
Additionally, as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the program, CDC also awarded $4 million to RTI to assess the long-term health and economic costs and benefits of particular policy or environmental interventions. This project will be led by Dr. Justin Trogdon.