Racial and ethnic disparities in health remain pervasive across the United States. CDC administers the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, a national program that provides funding to state and local health departments, tribes, universities, and community-based organizations. Since REACH was established in 1999, the program has demonstrated success in addressing health disparities and promoting health equity by engaging with diverse communities and implementing culturally tailored interventions. For more information about the REACH program, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/state-local-programs/reach/index.htm.
The intent of this challenge is to recognize individuals and organizations or community coalitions associated with the REACH program that meaningfully assisted with and carried out culturally tailored interventions that advance health equity, reduce health disparities, and increase community engagement to address preventable risk factors (e.g., tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and inadequate access to clinical services) in populations or groups disproportionately affected by chronic disease; specifically, African American/Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander persons. To support the science and practice of improving health equity, this challenge can help further the goals of the REACH program by documenting and further disseminating the innovative or unique interventions employed by individuals, organizations or community coalitions applying or nominated for this award. For more information about the REACH Lark Award Challenge, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/state-local-programs/reach/reach-lark-award/index.html
The award is named in honor of Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the founding Executive Director of Community Health Councils, Inc. (CHC). CHC was established in 1992 to support planning, resource development, and policy education in response to the growing health crisis in the South Los Angeles area and other under-resourced and marginalized communities throughout Los Angeles County. Lark led the CHC team to engage communities and strengthen the connections among organizations to improve health, eliminate disparities, and achieve health equity. Under Lark’s leadership, CHC became a leader in health equity in Los Angeles, across California, and the country. Lark also served in several leadership roles, including the first president of the National REACH Coalition, the MLK Medical center Advisory Board, and the IP3 Board of Directors for Community Commons.
No cash prize will be awarded. A maximum of two nominees (one individual and one organization or community coalition) will receive a plaque. While the winners may be invited to meetings by CDC, attendance at such events is not required as a condition of accepting the award.