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Appalachian Regional Commission Announces $45,000 Grant to the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to Promote Public Health

February 2016

Award is Part of the Pew Charitable Trusts–Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health Impact Project


WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2016—Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced a $45,000 grant to the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) in Alabama to integrate public health approaches into the area’s community planning efforts. This project will help 20 Birmingham communities use public health data and metrics to address regional transportation challenges, chronic blight, high crime rates, and other socioeconomic issues.

The award is part of an effort by the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, to promote health in southern and Appalachian states. Today, the project also announced similar awards in seven other communities across these regions.

“The Appalachian Regional Commission is very pleased to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, two leading national philanthropies, in an effort to highlight the relationship between public health and economic development,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “What we learn through this work can help other Appalachian communities thrive.”

As part of this partnership, RPCGB will receive technical assistance and training provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on how to use a health impact assessment (HIA) and other tools for assessing the health implications of civic planning efforts and local economic development initiatives.

“As a planning organization, we recognize the significance of promoting equity, especially in health, throughout all neighborhoods in the City of Birmingham,” said RPCGB Senior Planner Mikhail Alert. “We are eager to work with multiple stakeholders to promote healthy and vibrant communities across the city.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with our partners and award grants that will help organizations that have a history of successfully addressing issues such as poverty, transportation, criminal justice, education, and housing to bring health evidence and community input into the policy process—leading to better health in the future,” said Rebecca Morley, director of the Health Impact Project for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

About the Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, and invigorate civic life. For more information, visit

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 strives to build a national culture of health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at