Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program collaborates, with the ACHIEVE Coalition and its multisectoral partners work collaboratively to implement its three primary strategies (Nutrition, Community Clinical Linkage, Physical Activity/Build Environment) and two cross-cutting strategies (Communications, Economic Development); to identify, design and implement communications, policy, systems, and environmental (CPSE) improvements, to redress chronic disease burden and disparities, among Black/African immigrant and refugees infants, youth, adults, and elders (from the cradle to the cane).
REACH specifically uplifts and preserve Black culture and health, and build organizational capacity to lead long term systems change to increase access to safety net and community health programs and nutritious foods, increase economic development opportunities, and improve community design to connect safe and accessible places for physical activity and to thrive, worship, shop, play and work.
How We Work
The Multco-REACH program utilizes the following three intervention domains:
Increase access to healthier foods through food hubs and explore innovative practices and enhance healthier food procurement sales.
Establish healthy nutrition standards(i.e. childcare settings,schools, faith-based settings, jails, etc.)
Make improvements to local programs/systems (i.e. SUN School’s Food Pantries and WIC’s Farm Direct Nutrition Program)
Increase continuity of care/community support for breastfeeding (i.e. campaign, increasing the number of AA/B lactation consultants,etc.)
Establish new or improved pedestrian, bicycle, or transit transportation systems that are combined with new or improved land use or environmental design
Implement Active People Healthy Nation, a national initiative led by the CDC to promote the health benefits of increased physical activity and encourage young people and adults to meet the minimum physical activity guideline (brisk walking, biking) by being physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Promote the use of appropriate, locally available and culturally specific programs
Expand the use of health professionals and increase referrals
The Year 1 ripple map demonstrates the growth of the program through increased strategies, activities and partnerships. Within the five focus areas, REACH grew from 25 different strategies and activities in Year 1 to over 40 in Year 2. The ripple map also demonstrates the overlap and connection in the work and how several partners support REACH in more than one focus area. For example, by Year 2, there were 14 REACH partners engaged in the implementation of at least 2 and up to 14 different strategies and activities. REACH links the connection between preserving culture and improving health. Therefore, partnering with local community-based organizations using a culturally specific approach is the key to its success.
How it All Started
In 2014, Multnomah County earned the three-year, $3 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant to work within the county's African-American/Black communities. There are 49 other counties across the country under the CDC's REACH grant, each focusing on specific underserved racial and ethnic populations in their area.
Through the research of a prior grant, Multnomah County recognized the need to end health disparities within the African-American communities.