The Department of Health and Human Services awarded Tuesday more than $103 million through its Community Transformation Grants program, which was established by the 2010 health law. A total of 61 groups as well as state and local government agencies, spread across 36 states and one territory, will receive funding to promote healthy living and prevention locally over the next five years.
The grants are funded by the law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. President Barack Obama recently proposed cutting $3.5 billion from the fund as part of his deficit reduction plan, leaving $13.8 billion. The fund could be targeted by the ‘super committee’ in its pursuit of savings, and has also been eyed by congressional Republicans.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said the transformation grants will “do exactly what the name says: change the way communities promote health.” Project managers at the CDC will work with individual grantees now through early 2012 to finalize their plans.
Key focuses include discouraging tobacco use, promoting healthy eating and activity and encouraging preventive medicine. Success will be measured in terms of changes in weight, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use and emotional well-being, said Ursula Bauer, director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.