NACCHO Announces New Award to Recognize Excellence in Upstream Work in Rural Communities

NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pleased to announce the Achieving SDOH Population Improvement in Rural Environments (ASPIRE) award. The goal of the ASPIRE Award is to recognize excellence in rural communities that are committed to addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH). Such an approach requires deliberate planning, strong leadership, dedicated community partners, and a clear vision. While a multi-pronged approach is necessary for this work, applicants should identify a single practice to submit for consideration.

In its inaugural year, five local health departments will be selected for recognition. These LHDs will each receive $5,000 to help further their work and will receive acknowledgement at NACCHO Annual 2019. Awardees will work closely with NACCHO staff to explore factors that facilitate their success in addressing SDOH. NACCHO will conduct interviews with selected LHDs and their partners to collect data that will be captured in a summary report to be released in the Summer of 2019.

All submissions must be received through the online portal by 2:00 PM PST on January 25, 2019. For more information please visit the NACCHO Rural SDOH page.

Leading Practices in SDOH
While a multi-pronged approach is necessary for SDOH work, the award will ask applicants to consider a single practice to submit for consideration. A “practice,” which could also be called a “strategy,” outlines the “how” of your overall plan. It could be a single policy or program or initiative, but it should feed up into a larger goal and strategic priority that are part of your Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The practice should be clearly defined by goals and objectives. Applicants should have short and long-term outcome measures for the practice.

All local health departments who serve a predominantly rural jurisdiction are eligible to apply.

Informational Webinar
NACCHO will host a free webinar on January 7, 2pm-3pm EST to share more details about the award and the application process. The webinar will also present a brief training on the Community Health Improvement Matrix (CHIM) a planning tool that can be used by LHDs and their partners to drive solutions upstream. A completed CHIM is a required part of the award application, but LHDs who not intend to apply for the award may also find it useful. Register.

Please note that you must create a My NACCHO account through NACCHO University in order to register for the webinar.


A recording of the webinar will be posted on NACCHO’s Rural SDOH page.


If you have any questions about the application or the award, please email

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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