An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
March 30, 2015
SCALE project will address chronic disease health inequities due to obesity and sedentary lifestyles

DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope today announced it has been named a finalist in the running to receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to become a leading community on health improvement, as part of an initiative known as SCALE (Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation). With two years of grant support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SCALE aims to work with communities to develop capability to improve health and to spread effective community-driven approaches across the U.S.

The City of Hope SCALE project would design and implement a multilevel plan to reduce chronic disease health inequities due to obesity and sedentary lifestyle, through community-based resources, supportive physical environments and businesses, policies for healthful eating and an emphasis on physical activity. Working with the San Gabriel Valley Healthy Cities Collaborative, researchers would help train adult and teen community peer educators to implement an existing Eat, Move, Live   program for broader dissemination, thereby encouraging community members to engage in healthy eating and physical activity.

The 57 grant finalists, selected from close to 200 applicants across the country, will be narrowed to approximately 30 communities by mid-April. SCALE aims to match up to 10 “mentor communities” – those with a recent track record of achieving better health – with 20 “pacesetter communities” that are seeking to accelerate their pace of change.

“This has been an incredibly competitive selection process that began with hundreds of outstanding communities,” said Soma Stout, M.D, M.S., principal innovator in SCALE and executive external lead, Health Improvement, IHI. “All of the finalists should be incredibly proud of the accomplishment of getting to the finalist stage.”

SCALE communities will seek to obtain improved health outcomes, spread effective best practices as quickly as possible in order to realize improvements in health, and become beacons and resources for any community, anywhere, striving to obtain the best health possible – especially those most vulnerable to poor health due to poverty, violence or lack of social supports. The initiative will tap into the expertise of Abraham H. Wandersman, Ph.D, from the University of South Carolina, who will lead a team of experts in formative evaluation across institutions.

“Our SCALE project was born out of two realities: One, the San Gabriel Valley has some of the fastest-growing obesity rates in the nation, and two, we have very active and caring city-level and county-level partners and community organizations who want to step up to make the change,” said Kimlin Ashing, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Community Alliance for Research & Education at City of Hope. “This project directly links our collaborative – City of Hope, the city of Duarte, the Duarte Unified School District and Neighbors Acting Together to Help – directly to RWJ and IHI resources to leverage our skills and scale up our Eat Move Live intervention. Our Scale project comes at a perfect time as City of Hope pays tribute to Minority Health Month and the 50th anniversary of the health disparities movement. We are honored to do our part in preventing illnesses and promoting well-being within our community.”

SCALE marks the first community-based program of the recently announced global initiative, 100 Million Healthier Lives, led by IHI and 115 founding project partners. Through unprecedented collaboration, this initiative aims to achieve an audacious goal: 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. To date, more than 400 patients, community members, leaders, organizations and implementers across the domains of public health, community health, health care, policy, academia, business and financing have joined the 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative, with additional members welcome to join here.

“By using a train-the-trainer approach, we can lead the change in the way our families eat, move and play, helping them create healthier lives and healthier communities,” Ashing said.

Tami Dennis
[email protected]
About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics.