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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Awards $2.9 Million Grant To Presbyterian Community Health Program

September 25, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Today Presbyterian Healthcare Services was awarded a three-year, $2.9 million federal grant to focus on improving community health in the International District of Albuquerque and the South Valley of Bernalillo County.

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) award is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administers the grant. REACH, which began in 1999, focuses on racial and ethnic communities experiencing health disparities.

“We are truly honored to receive the REACH funding,” said Kathy Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Presbyterian Healthcare Services. “At Presbyterian we are committed to improving the health of the patients, members, and communities we serve. This award helps us continue to expand our community health initiatives.”

Overall, HHS awarded $35 million in REACH awards to 49 local health agencies. Presbyterian received $981,023 for the first year and expects to receive the same amount in the second and third years.

Presbyterian will work closely with lead community partner Bernalillo County Community Health Council, as well as many other local groups on the project, known as Communities Leading Health Change. Efforts will focus on improving poor nutrition, physical inactivity and lack of access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction and management in American Indian and Hispanic populations. The program will focus on policy, system, and environmental changes to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Presbyterian will contribute in-kind and cash contributions to expand community health initiatives in support of this program including diabetes education, chronic disease prevention programs, Prescription Trails, community and school gardens, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program 2-for-1 incentives, cooking education, and food subsidies. 

“Collaboration is key to improving the health of our local communities,” said Leigh Caswell, MPH, Community Health Manager for Presbyterian, who will serve as Program Director for Communities Leading Healthy Change. “We are thrilled to bring together our many community partners in this effort to reduce health disparities and improve nutrition, increase physical activity and prevent chronic disease.”

Partner organizations include:


  • City of Albuquerque, Senior Affairs
  • Share New Mexico
  • First Nations Community Healthsource
  • Agri-Cultura Network
  • Bernalillo County Office of Health and Social Services
  • Mid-Regional Council of Governments
  • Bernalillo County Community Health Council
  • Bernalillo County Place Matters
  • First Choice Community Healthcare
  • Farm to Table
  • New Mexico Department of Health, Health Promotion
  • University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center

To lern more about Presbyterian’s community health initiatives, visit


About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian was founded in New Mexico in 1908, and is the state’s only private, not-for-profit healthcare system. Presbyterian has eight hospitals, a statewide health plan, and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Presbyterian is the second largest private employer in New Mexico with more than 10,000 employees.

Media Inquiries:

Amanda Schoenberg
Communication Specialist
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