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Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) logo


REACH is a national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Through REACH, awardee partners plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.

Why is ending health gaps important?

CDC believes every person should be able to reach his or her full health potential. CDC seeks to remove barriers to health caused by race or ethnicity, education, income, location, or other social factors.

Health gaps remain widespread among racial and ethnic minority groups.

  • Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of obesity (48%) followed by Mexican Americans (43%).
  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, the risk of diagnosed diabetes is 77% higher among non-Hispanic blacks, 66% higher among Hispanics/Latinos, and 18% higher among Asian Americans.

How are REACH projects funded?

REACH gives funds to state and local health departments, tribes, universities, and community-based organizations. Awardees use these funds to build strong partnerships to guide and support the program’s work. Along with funding, CDC provides expert support to REACH awardees.

To learn more about REACH, read the fact sheet [PDF-516KB] .

Current REACH Program

In 2014, CDC started a 3-year initiative to build on a body of knowledge developed through previous REACH programs; strengthen capacity; and implement evidence- and practice-based strategies in racial and ethnic communities. REACH 2014 funds a variety of governmental and nongovernmental agencies, including state and local health departments, tribes, universities, and community-based organizations.

Program Impact

Racial and ethnic health gaps are complex. They are affected by factors related to individuals, communities, society, culture, and the environment. To address these factors, REACH partners bring together members of the community to plan and carry out many different strategies to address many different health issues and provide impact to local communities.

Past Programs

Since 1999, REACH awardees have used community-based, participatory approaches to identify, develop, and disseminate effective strategies for addressing health disparities.