Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant

The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Rhode Island Department of Health is designated as the principal state agency for the allocation and administration of the grant within the state.


This grant gives states control of funding so they can tailor prevention and health promotion programs to the diverse, complex, and constantly changing public health needs of their individual communities.

What We Do

The Department of Health works in partnership with the Prevention Block Grant Advisory Committee to set funding priorities. Current priorities include health disparities, health promotion, community interventions, and public health information.

Key Focus Areas

Community Assessment and Community-Based Public Health Planning

  • Goal: Build networks and find solutions to issues and concerns within communities that will ultimately lead to improved health and quality of life for all community members.
  • Population Impacted: 238,000 low-income, racially and ethnically diverse adults and children in three communities with higher rates of illness and disability.
  • Strategies:
    • Work with six competitively-selected community-based agencies to do community assessments (environmental scans) and door-to-door interviews in the neighborhoods they serve.
    • Address the leading preventable causes of death and disability by expanding the use of evidence-based strategies and programs, mobilizing local resources at the community-level, and strengthening the capacity of local neighborhoods.
  • Partners:
  • Project Deliverables:
    • Data reports on the environmental and neighborhood assessments in three low-income communities.
    • Web query training for funded agencies on how to analyze and use local data for program planning and neighborhood improvement.
    • Community forums to share the results of the assessments with community residents, leaders, agencies, and policy-makers.
    • Action plans from funded agencies that address the social and physical environments that contribute to individual and group health behaviors.
    • Policy and environmental strategies to improve neighborhood health.
    • Powerful models of success that can be replicated in other communities across the state.

Rape Prevention

  • Goal: Reduce the incidence of rape and attempted rape among women 12 years of age and older.
  • Population Impacted: 200,000 women and children with sexual and violence-related injuries.
  • Strategies:
    • Provide school-based education on safety, bullying, relational aggression, healthy relationships, and gender stereotyping to middle-school students, teachers, and parents in six school districts serving predominantly high-risk populations.
    • Develop protocols and train medical and police personnel on routinely identifying, treating and properly referring victims of sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence.
  • Project Deliverables:
    • Abuse and prevention programs for 600 students, teachers, counselors, and parents.
    • Four trainings for 100 adolescents in non-school settings about sexual assault and child abuse.
    • Training for medical personnel at all Rhode Island hospitals and emergency rooms.
    • Training and informational workshops for six police departments and other law enforcement personnel dealing with sexual assault victims.
    • Comprehensive training for 30 new volunteer advocates who work directly with sexual assault victims at hospitals and police departments.
  • Partners:

Community Health Promotion

  • Goal: Identify statewide objectives aligned with national goals to reduce health disparities, increase the quality and years of healthy life, and achieve health equity.
  • Population Impacted: 209,053 racially and ethnically diverse residents with higher rates of morbidity and mortality, behavioral risks, infectious disease, maternal and child health issues, and poor access to healthcare services.
  • Strategies:
    • Emphasize cultural competence and language access by implementing the federal Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) mandates for the public health workforce.
    • Launch a statewide public awareness campaign to mobilize community health workers and educate consumers on their rights to access qualified medical interpreters.
    • Use needs assessment and evaluation data and input from community-based organizations, state agencies, and other stakeholders to develop the Healthy Rhode Island 2020 plan.
    • more
  • Partners: Cultural Imperative, Minority Health Advisory Committee.
  • Project Deliverables:
    • Education and free campaign materials for Community Health Workers and community-based organizations on the right to access medical interpreters.
    • A CLAS Standards and language access guide for healthcare providers and patients. more
    • Health interventions developed by Rhode Island individuals and organizations that adhere to CLAS Standards and include evidence-based strategies to achieve objectives in the Healthy Rhode Island 2020 plan.