For Immediate Release: May 13, 2011
TFAH Statement on Community Transformation Grants
Washington, D.C., May 13, 2011 – The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for launching the new Community Transformation Grants (CTGs) program by opening up the opportunity for communities around the country to apply for $102 million in the first round of these grants to prevent disease and improve health. CTGs were created as part of the Prevention Fund of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Community Transformation Grants represent a groundbreaking approach to health in the United States – transforming our focus from treating people only after they’ve become sick to finding ways to keep us healthier in the first place,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. “With millions of Americans suffering from preventable diseases, two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, and 20 percent of adults and teens smoking, we desperately need to take measures to bend the disease curve in this country. Trends for health of our children are particularly troubling and require urgent action. Nothing is more important than making sure our children grow up healthy and strong. Yet currently, more than 23 million American children are obese or overweight, 20 percent of teens are smoking, and today’s youth are at significantly higher risk for developing heart disease or diabetes than any previous generation.”
“CTGs will provide additional resources to communities to concentrate on their top priorities and needs, ranging from offering additional tobacco cessation programs to improving nutrition in school lunches. Every American deserves the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. CTGs can help by support to individuals to take responsibility for their health by making healthier choices easier. Preventing disease can help spare millions of Americans from developing serious, preventable diseases and reduce billions of dollars in health care costs. CTGs are an investment in the future health and wealth of the country,” Levi continued.
Up to 75 communities will be awarded grants through a competitive process. CTGs provide an opportunity for public health experts to work with other community leaders, such as small business owners, faith leaders, youth leaders, employers, charities, parents, law enforcement officials, schools, and health care providers, to think about effective and innovate ways to improve health where they live.
According to HHS, the CTGs can be used to support core areas of focus, including smoke-free living, active living and healthy eating, high-impact quality clinical and other preventive services (specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol), social and emotional wellness, healthy and safe physical environments. In addition to these core areas of focus, communities will have the opportunity to identify other strategies relevant to their community’s unique needs and can address additional topic areas including adolescent health; arthritis and osteoporosis; cancer; diabetes; disabilities and secondary conditions; educational and community-based services; environmental health; HIV; injury and violence prevention; maternal, infant, and child health; mental health and mental disorders; health of older adults; oral health; and sexually transmitted diseases, as related to the overall goals of the program.
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. www.healthyamericans.org