$103M in government funding targets chronic disease

By Bernie Monegain
10:43 AM

States and communities nationwide will receive more than $103M from the federal government to help combat chronic illness, pegged as the leading cause of death in Americans. The money is aimed at developing new programs and providing technical assistance.

Most chronic disease programs employ information technology as a means of tracking patient conditions and reporting to statewide and national registries.

Department of Health and Human Services officials announced the grants Tuesday and said they would be disbursed to 61 states and communities reaching more than 120 million residents.

Created by the Affordable Care Act, Community Transformation Grants help states and communities tackle the root causes of chronic disease, such as smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity.

Chronic diseases are responsible for 75 percent of healthcare costs in the United States, according to government statistics. The root causes of chronic disease are often related to economic, social and physical factors such as tobacco use or a lack of places to exercise.

"Good health begins at home and in our own communities,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act is empowering Americans across the country to truly transform their communities by investing in programs that make us all healthier. These grants will offer communities the opportunity to both improve Americans' health and control healthcare spending by avoiding costly, chronic diseases in the first place."

All grantees will work to address the following priority areas:

  1. tobacco-free living;
  2. active living and healthy eating; and
  3. quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Grantees may also focus on creating healthy and safe environments. Grantees will have an additional focus on reducing health disparities since, in addition to lacking access to the healthcare they need, many lower-income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations often have higher rates of disease, said Sebelius.

Grantee activities include:

  • Implementation -- Thirty-five grantees will implement proven interventions to help improve health and wellness. Funding amounts range from $500,000 to $10 million depending on population size and scope of project.
  • Capacity Building -- Twenty-six grantees will work to build capacity by laying a solid foundation for sustainable community prevention efforts. Funding amounts range from $147,000 to $500,000 depending on population size and scope of project.

Awards are distributed among state and local government agencies, tribes and territories, and nonprofit organizations. Awards went to grantees in 36 states, including seven tribal organizations and one territory. The grants are expected to run for five years.

"Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are taking a devastating toll on America's health," said Thomas Frieden, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will administer the grants. "This initiative will build on successful programs that have helped people lead healthier lives and will enable communities and states to improve the healthy choices for their residents."

Earlier this month, HHS announced awards to seven national networks of community-based organizations that will help support, disseminate, and amplify the work done in Community Transformation Grant states and communities. The networks will engage community members in identifying solutions to improve health using community-based prevention strategies that work and can be models for other locations.

See the next page for a complete list of the funded states and communities.


Capacity Building Communities and States

Award Amount

Austen BioInnovation Institute (Ohio)


Bernalillo County Office of Environmental Health (New Mexico)


Cobb Public Health (Georgia)


Confederated Tribes of The Chehalis Reservation (Washington)


Connecticut Department of Public Health


County of Kern, Public Health Services Department (California)


Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services


Fresno County Department of Public Health


Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. (Wisconsin)


Houston Department of Health & Human Services (Texas)


Lancaster General Health (Pennsylvania)


Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals


My Brother's Keeper Inc. (Mississippi)


New Jersey Prevention Network (New Jersey)


North Dakota Department of Health


Public Health-Dayton and Montgomery County (Ohio)


Sierra Health Foundation (Sacramento Co., California)


Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center (Washington)


Spectrum Health Hospitals (Kent Co., Michigan)


Stanislaus County Health Services Agency (California)


Toiyabe Indian Health Project (California)


Ulkerreuil A Klengar (Republic of Palau)


Unlawful Narcotics Investigation Treatment Education, Inc. (UNITE) (Kentucky)


Utah Department of Health


Ventura County (California)



Implementation Communities and States

Award Amount

Broward Regional Health Planning Council (Florida)


City of Austin Health & Human Services Department (Texas)


County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency


Denver Health and Hospital Authority (Colorado)


Douglas County Health Department (Nebraska)


Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (Minnesota)


Illinois Department of Public Health


Iowa Department of Public Health


Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (California)


Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (Kentucky)


Maine Department of Health and Human Services/Maine CDC


Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


Massachusetts Department of Public Health (to serve state minus large counties)


Massachusetts Department of Public Health (to serve Middlesex County)


Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corporation (Missouri)


Minnesota Department of Health


Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services


New Mexico Department of Health


North Carolina Division of Public Health


Oklahoma City-County Health Department (Oklahoma)


Philadelphia Department of Public Health (Pennsylvania)


Public Health Institute (to serve the state of California minus large counties)


San Francisco Department of Public Health (California)


Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Michigan)


South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control


South Dakota Department of Health


Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium


Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (Washington)


Texas Department of State Health Services


The Fund for Public Health in New York


University Health Services, University of Wisconsin-Madison


University of Rochester Medical Center (New York)


Vermont Department of Health


Washington State Department of Health


West Virginia Bureau for Public Health


Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (Alaska)




Dissemination National Networks

Award Amount

American Public Health Association


Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership


Community Anti-Drug Coalition


National Farm to School Network at Occidental College



Acceleration National Networks

Award Amount

American Lung Association


National REACH Coalition


YMCA of the USA