HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced that nearly $212 million in grants will be awarded across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in support of programs designed to prevent chronic diseases. The American Heart Association is among the recipients.
“These grants will empower our partners to provide the tools that Americans need to help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” Burwell said in a press release.
Sylvia M. Burwell
The AHA has been awarded $3 million to support initiatives that focus on reducing tobacco use, improving nutrition and implementing other wellness-oriented strategies in smaller communities and areas with limited public health capacity.
Other grantees include counties, states, four large cities and private entities such as regional YMCA branches, universities and wellness centers. One of the grant areas is designed to reduce tobacco use and exposure and improve nutrition and physical activity, health literacy and other wellness factors within American Indian tribes, while others focus on the general population or underserved communities. Six grants totaling $4.2 million were awarded to universities in states with over 40% prevalence of adult obesity.
“Tobacco use, high [BP] and obesity are leading preventable causes of death in the United States,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said in the release. “These grants will enable state and local health departments, national and community organizations and other partners from all sectors of society to help us prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke and other leading chronic diseases, and help Americans to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.”
According to a release from the CDC, chronic diseases cause 7 of 10 deaths in the US annually, and account for more than 80% of the $2.7 trillion spent on medical care per year. Among the goals set forth by the awards are the reduction of rates of death and disability due to heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and preventable cancer by strengthening existing programs and partnerships. The grants, which are funded in part by the Affordable Care Act, will be administered through the CDC.