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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

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Grantee Information

Organization: Alabama Department of Public Health, State Office of Minority Health (ADPH SOMH)

Organization Address: 201 Monroe St., Suite 1010, Montgomery, AL, 36104

Phone Number: 334-206-3812

Fax Number: 334-206-5173

Organization website URL (if any):

Brief Description of the Organization: The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is Alabama’s state health agency, providing professional and public health services to support disease prevention and healthy living for the residents of Alabama. ADPH works in an integrated fashion with local communities and provides services to populations and individuals regardless of social circumstances and ability to pay. ADPH hosts several divisions focused on important public health issues including: Certificates & Vital Records; Disease Prevention & Control; Emergency Medical Services; Emergency Preparedness; Environmental Services; Family Health; Health Care Access; Home Health; Injury Prevention; Personnel and Employment; Violence Prevention & Aid; and, Regulation & Licensure.

Grant Project Information

Title of Grant Project: Alabama State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities

Amount of OMH Award: $200,000

Name of Project Director: Julia Sosa

Phone Number of Project Director: 334-206-5396

E-mail Address of Project Director:


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus cause serious mortality and morbidity in Alabama, with CVD being the number one cause of death in the state. This project will provide the opportunity to implement strategies that will aid in positive behavior change to address risk factors that can be controlled through behavior including weight status, physical activity, diet, hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking. These risk factors cause serious concern in Alabama, as the state has a high rate of obesity and a large, and growing, prevalence of high blood pressure. In addition, national findings reveal that significant geographic, income, racial, and ethnic disparities persist. Those disparities are reflected in Alabama, especially in the prevalence of obesity and hypertension, which varies widely by race and ethnicity, as well as socio-economic status. Four geographic areas in Alabama that represent “hot spots” for these various controllable risk factors for CVD and diabetes were identified by the SOMH, including the cities of Demopolis, Greensboro, Livingston, and Marion. The SOMH strives to identify the health concerns of the minority populations living in Alabama in order to give everyone an opportunity to live a long, healthy, and productive life. To this end, the State Partnership Initiative grant provides the SOMH with an opportunity to focus on nutrition, physical activity, and obesity among minority populations and improve access to healthcare services in these hot spot areas. The targeted minority populations to be impacted by this project are African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Asian Americans within the service areas of Demopolis, Greensboro, Livingston, and Marion. The SOMH anticipates that the State Partnership Grant funding will greatly expand the knowledge and awareness of the health disparities that exist among minority populations living in the selected four hot spot communities, leading to an expansion and creation of health policies and specific strategies to eliminate such disparities. The overarching goal of this project is to enhance SOMH’s capacity to plan, develop and implement activities which will improve nutrition, physical activity, and obesity among minority populations and improve access to healthcare services.

In order to carry out this project, SOMH will work with four minority communities in selected Alabama hot spots to implement evidence based population strategies to prevent obesity by promoting good nutrition and physical activity, and to increase access to healthcare services. SOMH plans to utilize three evidence-based interventions which include:

  • The Alabama Healthy Vending Machine Program (AHVMP) is an environmental change approach that increases access to healthy foods and beverages to promote and support healthy behaviors. SOMH staff will provide training to community health advisors and promotoras de salud on AHVMP and assist them with engaging partners in the four hot spot communities in wellness initiatives through local health departments, hospitals, and community agencies. Venues will be identified for implementation such as public institutions, worksites, hospitals, schools, universities, corner stores, grocery stores, and community venues like churches and recreation centers.
  • The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) is a statewide campaign that launched in 2014, by Voices for Alabama’s Children and the American Heart Association. SOMH is committed to supporting the two organizations on HFFI strategies in corner stores and/or grocery stores for healthy food retail development around the state. SOMH serves on the HFFI task force and will work with community partners and West Central Alabama Area Health Education Center (WCAAHEC) to identify retail venues for implementation in the four hot spot communities.
  • Scale Back Alabama (SBA) is a statewide health behavior change program designed to encourage Alabamians to make healthy lifestyle choices and lose weight using a team approach. SBA has been formally evaluated and found to be an effective intervention for modification of behaviors associated with weight loss. SOMH will work with local health departments, WCAAHEC, schools, community centers, faith based organizations, and hospitals to conduct SBA volunteer sites within the four selected hot spot communities. SOMH will provide technical assistance and training resources to community partners on implementing SBA. Implementation of SBA will take place in at least one venue within the four hot spot communities.

In addition to these evidence-based programs, SOMH also intends to utilize community involvement in each of the four hot spot communities to increase the safety and accessibility of facilities that encourage physical activity. This will include placing signage at areas that promote physical activity, training community health advisors and promotoras de salud on different physical activity programs to increase availability of instructors, conducting focus groups to identify interest and knowledge in various physical activity programs, and targeting established resources and training materials to key stakeholders to create community inclusion. Finally, SOMH will focus their efforts on increasing access to healthcare services by bringing together community partners to develop a county resource guide for each hot spot community as well as training community health advisors and promotoras de salud on how to screen and educate the public about knowledge and awareness of available healthcare services.

The anticipated outcomes under this five year project include: 1) developing and increasing health friendly environments where making the healthy choice is the easier choice, 2) increasing participation in lifestyle change through encouraging motivational behavior change, 3) increasing referrals to behavior healthy lifestyle change programs, 4) reducing the prevalence of obesity by 3 percent in the identified hot spot areas, 5) increasing knowledge and awareness of access to healthcare services, and 6) improving the coordination, collaboration, and linkages among public and private entities that specifically address obesity and access to healthcare services among minority populations.

In order to evaluate the project, the activities and established timelines for activities will be analyzed with problems or potential problem areas being identified along with possible solutions. Successes will also be analyzed. The overall goal and mandate of this evaluation process will be to assure that all objectives will be accomplished or exceeded and that trends in obesity are reversed. Progress on individual objectives will also be evaluated. Existing data sources will be used in establishing baseline measurements, where needed, and in monitoring progress throughout the grant period. In order to ensure the work plan is fully executed and effective in its goals, the following intermediate and long-term performance measures for the five year project time span were identified by the grantee:

  • Intermediate performance measures:
    • Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and healthy drinks (BFRSS data);
    • Number of individuals who meet PA guidelines (BFRSS data);
    • Number of individuals who enroll in an evidenced-based lifestyle change program (ADPH data);
    • Number of nutrition-related satellite programs and webcasts tailored to individuals targeted in the four hot spot areas;
    • Number of received participant evaluation forms from nutrition and PA related programs;
    • Number of retail venues in the community that promote healthier food access through increased availability, placement, and promotion;
    • Number of technical support consultations provided;
    • Number of SBA volunteer sites available in the selected four hot spots; and,
    • Number of individuals participating in the selected four hot spots.
  • Long-term performance measures:
    • Percent of participants in lifestyle change programs achieving 5 percent of weight loss;
    • Reduced prevalence of obesity by 3 percent in the designated hot spots;
    • Reduced percent of people who are uninsured/underinsured in the designated hot spots; and,
    • Percent of participants who have access to healthcare services in the designated hot spots.


None identified by the grantee


None identified by the grantee

1/11/2016 2:35:00 PM