Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HHS Awards $31 million more for prevention and wellness projects‏

$2.35 Million to DeKalb County Board of Health, Georgia for obesity prevention

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced $31 million for awards to ten communities in eight states and one award to a state health department to support public health efforts toreduce obesity and smoking, increase physical activity and improve nutrition.

The awards funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund included in the Affordable Care Act are part of the HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program, a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"As I've seen throughout the year in my work with Let's Move!, prevention works when it comes to improving the health of our families," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "These critical investments will help more communitiesacross America tackle serious health challenges like childhood obesity, wh ile promoting physical activity and healthy eating."

Today's announcement follows the release in February and March 2010 of morethan $491.8 million in Communities Putting Prevention to Work funds to states, U.S territories and communities. Those projects are supporting statewide and community based policy and environmental changes in nutrition, physical activity, tobacco control, expanded tobacco quit lines, and cessation media campaigns.

"To realize our goals of improving the health of Americans and lowering our nation's health care costs, we must address the underlying factors that influence our families' health - factors like the foods we eat and the conditions that exist in our homes, neighborhoods and workplaces," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "With Communities Putting Prevention to Work, we're creating evidence-based models that we can replicate on a large scale to permanently reduce the chronic diseases plaguing so many of our communities."

These Communities Putting Prevention to Work awards will provide communities with the resources to create healthy choices for residents, such as increasing availability of healthy foods and beverages, improving access to safe places for physical activity, discouraging tobacco use, and encouraging smoke-free environments.

Of the 11 new awards, ten are dedicated to obesity prevention efforts and one to tobacco cessation. Currently, seven of ten deaths among Americans each year are caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. These same chronic diseases account for more than 75% of our nation's health care spending. HHS also announced $10 million in additional funding for six communities - all of which were part of the original 44 Communities Putting Prevention to Work communities funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) - to provide mentoring to less experienced communities based on their previous success in specific policy strategies. Funding for the "Community Mentoring" initiative comes from ARRA.

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