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Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 19, 2010

Trust for America’s Health Commends HHS Announcement of Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grantee Recipients

ARRA Funded Initiative supports evidence-based community approaches to chronic disease prevention and control

Washington, DC- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) commends today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of Communities Putting Prevention to Work grantee recipients. The landmark $372 million initiative will provide funding for a comprehensive, coordinated approach to community-based prevention activities that address physical activity, nutrition, obesity, and tobacco use.  

“The Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants are an important, strategic investment that will help reduce rates of preventable disease and give millions of Americans the opportunity to live healthier lives,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH.   “These grants will support evidence-based programs around the country that will have a real impact on improving the health of Americans.”

As part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Prevention and Wellness Fund, these grants will allow communities to implement a set of evidence-based interventions to achieve broad reach, high impact, and sustainable change. Research has shown that effective community-level prevention activities focusing on nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation can reduce chronic disease rates and have a significant return on investment.

"With two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese and one in five Americans still smoking, this initiative is tackling two of the biggest health crises in the United States head on.  The Communities Putting Prevention to Work grants are an important step toward improving prevention. However, they are just one step. If we’re going to effectively tackle the high rates of chronic disease in America, we need Congress to vote to approve health reform, which includes permanent funding for programs such as these,” Levi stated.

In 2008, TFAH released a study, Prevention for a Healthier America, which found that for every $1 spent on proven community-based disease prevention programs, the country could net a return of $5.60 in health care costs within five years.  The full report is available on TFAH's Web site www.healthyamericans.org.

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

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Contact

Media Contact:  Elle Hogan at 202-223-9870 x 21 or ehogan@tfah.org