Florida ranks near bottom in getting disease-prevention funds from feds

March 16, 2009
by Anika Myers Palm and Robyn Shelton
Orlando Sentinel

Florida is one of the worst-ranked states in the nation for getting federal money to spend on disease prevention, according to a new report.

The state came in 47th out of 50, receiving about $13.29 per person last year to spend on disease- and injury-prevention programs. Alaska, by comparison, was ranked first with $52.78 a person. Indiana was last with $12.74 for each resident.

The report - from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - warns that states need to make the most of federal grants to avoid cutting programs focused on obesity and diabetes prevention, food and water safety, and infectious-disease prevention.

"Public-health programs keep disease rates down, which in turn keeps health-care costs down," said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health. "It's going to be hard to get the economy healthy again if our workers and our health-care system are both sick.

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