HHS marks $750 million for prevention
February 10, 2011
by Jessica Zigmond
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the agency will invest $750 million in four areas related to prevention, including research to track the effects of last year's health reform law on the health of Americans.
The money will come from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and build on the $500 million that was invested last year, according to HHS.
In a news release, the Trust for America's Health praised the additional federal commitment to prevention services, saying that the Prevention Fund will allow the country to shift the paradigm from a “sick care system” to a healthcare system that keeps people healthy from the start.
“By preventing disease, we help curb costs down the road by sparing millions of Americans from developing serious, preventable diseases,” said Rich Hamburg, deputy director at the Trust for America's Health. “The investment is urgent—because we can't sustain the path we're currently on. Right now, tens of millions of Americans suffer from preventable chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes,” he added. “And today's children are in danger of becoming the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.”
Specifically, $298 million will be funneled into community prevention to help promote health and wellness in local communities through efforts to reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition and increase physical activity to prevent obesity; $182 million to improve access to preventive care, including building awareness around the prevention benefits under the new law; $137 million for public health infrastructure to help state and local health departments invest in technology and train the nation's public health workforce to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks and other threats; and $133 million to help collect data to monitor the effects of the law on the health of Americans and also identify and deliver evidence-based recommendations about public health challenges
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