LHD EMPower Invite-Only RFA

This is an invite-only RFA. If you did not receive an invitation you cannot apply for this funding.

The purpose of the Reducing Breastfeeding Disparities through Peer and Professional Support (Breastfeeding Project) is to increase implementation of evidence-based and innovative breastfeeding programs, practices, and services at the community level, specifically focused on peer and professional lactation support to breastfeeding mothers in predominantly African American or underserved communities; and to develop and maintain public health partnerships critical to building community support for breastfeeding.

Local Health Departments were invited to apply for this funding opportunity because there is an Enhancing Maternity Practices (EMPower) hospital(s) within their service jurisdiction. EMPower Breastfeeding is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative focusing on maternity practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Local-level organizations can partner in this work by supporting EMPower hospitals with step three or ten of the ten-step process. To learn more about EMPower please visit their website. The project timeline is below.

The Breastfeeding Team offered a webinar to answer any questions regarding the application process on December 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm ET. View the archived webinarView webinar slides.

View the Breastfeeding Support Network Logic Model.

Access the Frequently Asked Questions.

You may submit questions regarding the RFA to breastfeeding@naccho.org at any time.

Project Timeline

Event Date/Time
Notice of Intent to Invite November 19, 2015
RFA Available November 23, 2015
RFA Webinar December 8, 2015
Application Submission Deadline December 21, 2015, 12:00 pm E.T.
Award Notification Date December 30, 2015
Anticipated Contract Start Date January 15, 2016
Grantee Meeting in Washington, DC January 21, 2016
Grantee Closing Meeting in Baltimore, MD April 19, 2016 to April 20, 2016
Contract End Date June 30, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated Daily in Response to Questions)

1. Who is responsible for implementing EMPower Breastfeeding at my local hospital?

NACCHO has a listing of the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the EMPower Breastfeeding contact persons at the EMPower Hospital(s) in your local community. Please contact NACCHO’s Breastfeeding Project team at breastfeeding@naccho.org to acquire this information for EMPower
Hospital(s) in your specific community.

2. The health department would like to co-apply for the grant with our local EMPower Hospital, but the hospital doesn’t have experience applying for grants. We are interested in collaborating. Can the health department apply to the grant if the hospital carries out the bulk of the work plan?

Yes, organizations or agencies have the ability to submit joint applications for this grant. However, only one (1) organization may serve as the fiduciary agent. NACCHO identified LHDs with the capacity to partner with an EMPower hospital to provide services to breastfeeding mothers and their infants within target communities, and it is NACCHO’s expectation that proposed project activities will clearly indicate collaboration between the local EMPower Hospital and the LHD (and/or designee).

3. Can the local EMPower Hospital serve as the designee for the LHD?

Yes, the EMPower Hospital can serve as the LHD’s designee in applying for this grant. NACCHO’s expectation is that proposed project activities will demonstrate how collaborative efforts between the LHD and EMPower Hospital(s) benefit the organizations engaged in the partnership and address the needs of breastfeeding mothers and infants within target communities.

4. Can applicants propose project activities other than those listed within the RFA? OR Are applicants limited to only those proposed activities detailed within the RFA?

Applications must minimally include an identified Step 3 or Step 10 activity similar to those listed within the RFA. Main components of the work plan are limited to those project activities listed within the RFA:

    • Gap Analysis (a brief resource scan to determine what is available within your community as part of the effort to launch one of the below associated activities)
    • Development of Consistent Messaging/Materials in the community and hospital (Step 3, Step 10)
    • Development and Distribution of Community Resource Guide (Step 10)
    • Development of a Referral Network for Community Lactation Support (Step 10)
    • Peer/Professional Led Support Groups (Step 3, Step 10)
    • Breastfeeding Clinics (e.g., Baby Cafés) (Step 10)
    • Prenatal Provider outreach/partnership to promote breastfeeding (Step 3)
    • Pediatric/Family Provider outreach/partnership to support breastfeeding (Step 10)
    • Infant Feeding Classes/Childbirth Education Classes (Step 3)
    • Inpatient or Outpatient lactation support services provided in a hospital or clinic setting (Step 10)
    • Staff training to improve or enhance skills of current staff in lactation care, counseling and case management in a community setting (Step 10)
    • Local Breastfeeding Coalition or Advisory Board development and planning (Step 10)

5. Our local health department cannot enter into a contract with NACCHO because of issues with the standard contract language. What can we do to make these funds available to our local community?

As stated on page two of the RFA, no modifications to the terms or contract language will be made. With that said, you may opt to appoint a designee within your community to take the lead on the application and project. The LHD may defer this application to a designee, to include the following:

  • Other, non-LHD, government entities;
  • Community-based organizations or non-profits (e.g., coalitions or task forces);
  • Faith-based organizations (e.g., churches and other places of worship);
  • Tribal governments and organizations; and
  • Community health centers, hospitals, and health clinics.

6. When do we implement project activities?

Award notifications will be sent on or around December 30, 2015, and the expectation is that project activities will begin in January of 2016. Grantees should have the capacity to commence project activities upon notification of award.

7. What is the reimbursement cycle for the project?

NACCHO will implement a bi-monthly (every other month) invoicing cycle for this project. The invoicing months will be March, May, and July of 2016. However, NACCHO reserves the right to make changes to the payment schedule to best suit the needs of grantees.

8. Can you make NACCHO’s Logic Model available to us?

Yes, we have posted NACCHO’s Logic Model here.

9. Can you discuss the terms in the contract “subrecipient” and which contract should be used?

Sub-recipient is defined as “the legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided.” NACCHO is the recipient of federal funding from the CDC, and the 5-10 grantees selected will serve as the subrecipients of the grant.

If you are an LHD located in the state of Florida, you need to use the contract for Florida LHDs. If you are an LHD located in a state outside of Florida and you are a member organization of NACCHO, you must use the “Member” contract. If you are not an LHD or you are not a member of NACCHO, then you must use the Non-Member contract.

10. If we want to support training (of WIC staff for example), do they need to have completed the training by the end of the grant? For example, sponsoring someone from WIC to do the IBCLC coursework will not be completed in 6 months.

Grant funds can be used to support or initiate training of personnel. All grant funds must be exhausted by June 30, 2016 even if the training continues beyond that window.

11. Can we use these project funds to hire an employee to work on this short-term project?

Yes. The combination of personnel and fringe costs must not exceed 50% of the total project budget.

12. What type of partnership are we required to develop with the local EMPower Hospital? 

LHDs should develop a partnership with an EMPower Hospital to provide services to breastfeeding mothers and infants within their target communities. Examples of types of services that can be provided through this funding opportunity include, but are not limited to, training of current, existing staff in lactation care, counseling skills, case management, etc.; provision of walk-in locations for lactation expertise and support (e.g., baby cafes); and activities that systematically connect breastfeeding mothers to relevant resources within their communities. See the answer to question four for a more detailed listing of allowable project activities.

13. One section of the RFA states that the project narrative (Parts B-D) is limited to no more than 5 double-spaced pages. In another section, a total of six pages is given as the maximum for these three sections. Can you clarify the length of the narrative?

The project narrative should not exceed five, 8 ½”x11” pages when printed by NACCHO. In the RFA, we note that the Problem Statement (Section B) should be limited to 1 page maximum; the Proposal Overview (Section C) should be limited to 3 pages maximum; and the Organizational Capacity and Experience (Section D) should be limited to 2 pages maximum, not to cumulatively exceed the 5-page limit.

14. It is difficult to obtain data at the zip-code level by race/ethnicity. Do you have any suggestions on how to obtain this information?

Visit Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

15. If we have two EMPower Hospitals in our city, do we have to partner with both of them, or can we start with one?

You will need to develop a partnership with at least one EMPower Hospital in your community.

16. If I am considered a designee of the health department but I’m not a local health department, what could I submit instead of the A-133?

Any organization, be it a State, Local Government, or Non-Profit entity, that receives more than $500,000 in federal direct or indirect (including federal funds passed through a State) cooperative agreement or grant funds is subject to the requirements laid out in OMB Circular A-133. The Circular requires sub-recipients adhere to the auditing requirements described therein. Even if the applicant organization is not an LHD, it may be necessary for the organization to submit audit records in compliance with the Circular.

NACCHO is requesting audit records to ensure that potential grantees can be compliant with federal auditing requirements. If your organization is not subject to the A-133 requirement, NACCHO requests that you submit prior year fiscal reports so that your application can be assessed in a similar way. Providing this information to NACCHO can only strengthen your overall application package.

17. We have a WIC agency in our health department – can our activities just be to expand WIC services by hiring extra staff and training the nutritionists to become lactation consultants?

This funding opportunity is designed to support partnerships between the LHD and EMPower Hospitals in implementing Step 3 and Step 10 of the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” which respectively focus on informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding, and fostering the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and referring mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center. Proposed project activities should inform Step 3 and Step 10 within the target community. Please be mindful that the combination of personnel and fringe costs cannot exceed 50% of your total project budget.

18. Do we have to become a NACCHO member if we get selected?

No, you do not have to become a NACCHO member if you are awarded this funding opportunity.

19. It’s difficult to establish sustainable interventions in 6 months. If my organization is selected for an award, can our work plan activities serve as a pilot project?


20. Our health department doesn’t have enough manpower. Can we partner with other agencies to carry out our work plan activities?

Yes. One goal of the funding opportunity is to establish or strengthen local-level partnerships to promote and support breastfeeding within target communities. If two organizations are partnering on an application, please note that only one organization may serve as the fiduciary. Please be mindful that while partnerships are encouraged, it is not the intent of this funding opportunity to serve as a pass through.

21. There are three EMPower Hospitals currently working in our county, with each hospital being a component of the Health System. Do we need three separate letters of support from each hospital, or would one letter from the Chief of Patient Care specifically referencing all three hospitals under his/her direction be acceptable?

If your LHD plans to partner with one particular hospital, then for the purposes of this RFA, only one letter of support is needed. If, however, your organization will partner with all three hospitals, a letter of support from the official with signing authority at all three hospitals or three letters of support (one from each hospital) would be sufficient.

22. Can you define the “number of women reached” versus the “number of women served” and provide a specific definition for the term “reached” in this context, as it pertains to Section D of the RFA, Organizational Capacity and Experience?

The number of women “served” indicates the population who are direct beneficiaries or recipients of programs and/or services provided through the project activities, whereas the number of women “reached” indicates the population that is touched through outreach activities. Depending on the nature of projects devised by applicant organizations, it may or may not be possible to obtain accurate race and age counts of the number of women reached. NACCHO requires that grantees capture the data on women served.

23. Why is it necessary to indicate that we can commence project activities upon award notification?

Applicants should indicate their capacity to commence project activities upon award notification within the Letter of Support from the applicant agency’s fiscal agent or person authorized to establish a contract with NACCHO. NACCHO is requesting this because of the short-term nature of the project. NACCHO is prepared to fast track the contracting process, which is why audit/fiscal records are requested. Delays in contracting on the part of grantees can fully derail your organizational capacity to implement project activities unless you are willing to begin work upon award notification.

24. In developing our budget and project activities, we may need less than $35,000 to complete our activities. Would a proposal less than this amount be acceptable?


25. On page 8 of the RFA, the documents W-9, Certification of Non-debarment, Certification Regarding Lobbying, and Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Data Collection Form are listed. Do these need to be submitted with the application due on 12/21?

The items listed under the “Contract Documents” section on page 8 of the RFA–W-9, Certification of Non-debarment, Certification Regarding Lobbying, and Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Data Collection Form–do not have to be submitted as part of your application due on Monday, December 21. They will, however, expedite the contracting process for selected applicants and would need to be submitted as soon as possible after grantees have been selected and notified.