Public Health Accreditation Board                               For Immediate Release
PHAB Logo 125px
                                          Media Contact:
                                          Teddi Nicolaus
                                          PHAB Communications Manager
                                          703-778-4549, x118

Public Health National Center for Innovations Announces $1.55 Million in Grants to Strengthen Innovation in Public Health  

Nine grant recipients will develop, test and implement innovative practices that other public health organizations can adapt to their communities' needs 

Alexandria, Virginia, August 3, 2017 -- The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), a division of the Public Health Accreditation Board, announced today that nine public health organizations will receive a combined $1.55 million to advance innovative public health practices that monitor and head off threats to the health and welfare of their communities. The funds will allow these organizations to develop, test and implement innovative practices that other public health agencies can adapt to their communities' needs.
The nine grant recipients will focus on a variety of challenges across the public health landscape, from promoting nutrition to engaging at-risk communities. The grantees and focus areas include:  
  • Baltimore City Health Department (MD): Coordinating low-income food access through an online pilot
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Community Relations Division: Developing multi-disciplinary networks to address equity
  • DuPage County Health Department (IL): Creating cross-sector partnerships to coordinate mental health care
  • Garrett County Health Department (MD): Driving community planning participation through low-cost digital tools
  • Kansas Association of Local Health Departments: Increasing cross-jurisdictional partnerships for service efficiency
  • Minnesota Department of Health: Addressing health equity through social service coordination
  • Pima County Health Department (AZ): Improving low-income mother and child health through economic policies
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (WA): Empowering communities through a participatory budgeting process
  • University of Chicago, Center for Spatial Data Science and School of Social Service Administration (IL): Aligning community health needs with existing resources for maximum impact
"This innovative work reflects the evolution that public health needs in order to protect people from emerging threats," said Jessica Solomon Fisher, PHNCI's Chief Innovations Officer. "These innovations advance the practice of public health in ways that others can learn from to help their communities thrive as places to live, work, and play."

PHNCI awarded the 17 month-long grants with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Additional details on each project can be found on

"Just as businesses are constantly adopting innovative solutions to drive growth, public health is developing new strategies to confront 21st century challenges," said Pamela J. Russo, a senior program officer at RWJF. "By leveraging the latest data and innovative techniques, public health can grow healthier communities and protect them from the health threats of today and tomorrow."   

For more information, contact Teddi Nicolaus at (703) 778-4549 ext. 118, or email Learn more about PHNCI at or by subscribing to PHNCI's e-newsletter.  Learn more about PHAB and accreditation at, and by signing up for the PHAB e-newsletter.  
About PHAB and PHNCI
The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body and is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The development of national public health department accreditation has involved, and is supported by, public health leaders and practitioners from the national, Tribal, state, local, and territorial levels. The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), a division of PHAB, with support and funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was established in 2015 to help foster a multi-sector learning community that will help identify and test new and innovative practices to improve public health capacity. In this role, PHNCI serves as the hub for national public health innovations.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. RWJF is working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at