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Leverage PHHS Block Grants to Strengthen Infrastructure and Prepare for Accreditation


Public health departments have made tremendous strides in performance management (PM), quality improvement (QI), and workforce development (WD) in the past few years, thanks in part to support from programs such as the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII). While Congress has discontinued funding for NPHII and Community Transformation Grants, other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-supported programs are receiving additional funds. Health departments can use these new funds to continue capacity-building activities that support infrastructure and accreditation, including activities in PM, QI, and WD. One program receiving an influx of funds is the Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant.  


Latest Information Updated: September 22, 2014

PHF has been in contact with CDC about the next round of funding for the PHHS Block Grant. Pending Congressional approval of FY’15 funds for the PHHS Block Grant, CDC anticipates requesting new work plans from health department grantees in late October or early November 2014. These work plans can contain activities related to health department accreditation, quality improvement, performance management, and workforce development. PHF will continue to monitor developments and keep this page updated as more information becomes available. 


Plan Your Strategy

Use the links below to review Public Health Foundation (PHF) guidance on planning a strategy to take advantage of this opportunity.


What is the opportunity?
PHHS can and should support infrastructure investments in PM, QI, and WD

  • PHHS funding has doubled for FY 2014. Using new funds to strengthen capacity and infrastructure can help ensure success for disease-specific programs
  • States that support accreditation efforts of local health departments and tribes ultimately help achieve overall state health objectives
What can be supported?
State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments can use PHHS funds for infrastructure activities, including:
  • Activities related to Healthy People 2020 infrastructure objectives
  • Accreditation fees, preparation activities, and coordination staff
  • PM and QI staff (e.g., Performance Improvement Managers)
  • Technical assistance to build PM, QI, and WD capacity
  • TRAIN affiliate subscriptions and enhancement fees
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why should local health departments and tribes care about this if CDC awards most of the funds to state and territorial health departments?

About 40% of PHHS Block Grant resources support local health department and tribal initiatives to address Healthy People 2020 objectives. A doubling of the Block Grant funding for FY 2014 provides a unique opportunity for health departments to start or continue capacity-building activities that support infrastructure and accreditation, including activities in performance management, quality improvement, and workforce development.

  • What can local health departments and tribes do to leverage the PHHS Block Grant?

Review PHF’s Guidance for Local Health Departments and Tribes.

  • What can state health departments do to leverage the PHHS Block Grant to benefit the entire state?

Review PHF’s Guidance for States with Local Health Departments and Guidance for States without Local Health Departments.

  • What can Territories and Tribes that receive Block Grant funds directly from CDC do to leverage the PHHS Block Grant?

Review PHF’s Guidance for Territories and Tribes that Receive Block Grant Funds Directly from CDC.

  • What’s the rush?  Why do I need to act now?

By July 1, 2014, PHHS Block Grant recipients (all state and territorial health departments, and two tribes) must send CDC new work plans and budgets accounting for the additional funds they will receive in 2014-15 – twice the dollars originally awarded. In preparation, these recipients of Block Grant funds are scheduling and holding advisory committee meetings before the end of June 2014 to determine how the funds will be allocated. While this is surely not the last opportunity to influence how these funds are used, it is a rare and time-bound opportunity that should not be missed.

What else can I do? 
Start now to make the case for infrastructure investments using PHHS funds
  • Share this information with those in your agency who request PHHS funds or decide how they are used
  • Explain to colleagues that PM, QI, and WD ensure that PHHS-funded initiatives are accountable, transparent, and held to the highest standards; such investments help health departments achieve and sustain health improvements
  • Allocate PHHS funds dispersed by CDC throughout the year for PM, QI, and WD and other investments to achieve strategic goals and prepare for accreditation
  • Include technical assistance and training in future work plans to help build capacity using new PHHS funds
  • Check CDC funding opportunity announcements for guidance on how accreditation activities can be built into applications; CDC has shared a document describing how infrastructure and accreditation activities can be built into new and existing funding streams
  • Stay informed by checking this webpage for additional information and updates on how to use PHHS funds to continue to strengthen PM, QI, and WD capacity, and subscribing to PHF E-News to receive future announcements
How can PHF help strengthen my health department’s infrastructure?


Leverage PHHS Block Grants to Strengthen Infrastructure and Prepare for Accreditation