Department of Health and Human Services Announces $100 million to Create Healthier Communities

On Friday, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced over $100 million targeted at helping create healthier communities. Designed to fund up to 75 “Community Transformation Grants,” HHS hopes this money will help communities promote health lifestyles, reducing health disparities, costs, and chronic disease.

“Community Transformation Grants will empower local communities with resources, information, and flexibility to help make their residents healthier,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “By helping to transform communities at the ground level, these efforts can have a major impact on the health of Americans.”

The grants will be administered by HHS’s Centers for Disease Control. The grants are aimed at several priority areas: tobacco-free living, active living, healthy eating, preventive services (e.g., tests for high blood pressure or cholesterol), social wellness, emotional wellness, and healthy physical environments.

Applications are due July, 2011, and applicants are encouraged to use “evidence-based strategies and ensure that their activities not only have broad population impact, but also help address health disparities,” according to a press release. Grants are expected to plan for a five-year run.

“It is critical that we sustain our work to develop and spread effective programs that address leading killers like heart disease, cancer, and stroke,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “These funds will allow us to build on successful programs that have helped people lead healthier lifestyles and help us save millions in health care costs in the future.”

More information on applying for the grants is available from HHS.

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