Approximately $40 million in Affordable Care Act funds for statewide chronic disease prevention programs

Approximately $40 million in Affordable Care Act funds for
statewide chronic disease prevention programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the
availability of approximately $40 million to strengthen and better coordinate
activities within state and territorial health departments aimed at preventing
chronic diseases and promoting health. Created by the Affordable Care Act,
this initiative targets the nation’s five leading chronic disease-related causes
of death and disability: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and
arthritis.

“Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths
among Americans each year, and they account for about three-fourths of the more
than $2.5 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care,” said HHS
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Fortunately, many chronic diseases are
preventable, and these new resources will assist states and territories in the
implementation of proven prevention and wellness programs that will save lives
and lower health care costs for all Americans.”

This announcement is one part of the first-ever Prevention & Wellness
Month, as the Obama Administration is highlighting announcements, activities,
and tips that will help Americans get healthy and stay healthy. The new
initiative will support the implementation of public health programs,
surveillance of chronic diseases, translation of research into public health
practice, and development of tools and resources for health workers and other
leaders at the national, state, and community levels.

State and territorial health activities will focus on reducing age-adjusted
mortality due to chronic diseases and reducing the prevalence of disabling
chronic diseases. In addition, the initiative will aim to improve health and
quality of life by promoting environmental and policy changes related to
nutrition, physical activity, and clinical preventive services and by promoting
education and management skills for people diagnosed with or at high risk for
chronic diseases.

“Many chronic diseases share common risk factors, afflict similar population
groups the hardest, and can be effectively addressed by the same public health
strategies,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of HHS’ Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, which oversees the initiative. “That’s why it’s so
important to help state and territorial health departments develop the
organizational capacity and management approaches to deal with chronic diseases
holistically, not just as separate conditions.”

CDC expects to award funds for 3-year coordinated statewide chronic disease
programs to all 58 U.S. states and territories, with approximately $40 million
available for the first 12-month budget period. As a critical requirement,
successful grantees will create or update statewide plans that demonstrate
coordinated approaches to addressing the leading causes of chronic disease
deaths and their associated risk factors, including but not limited to heart
disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, nutrition, physical activity, and
obesity. Tobacco use, a leading risk factor for chronic diseases, is not part
of the initiative but will continue to be addressed through CDC’s other
statewide prevention programs.

State and territorial health departments interested in submitting proposals
for the Prevention and Public Health Fund Coordinated Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion Program
can find more information at www.grants.gov. The application deadline is
July 22, 2011.

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