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Texas and the New Prevention Fund:
An Investment in the Future Health of America

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included the creation of a Prevention Fund – to provide communities around the country with more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, provide prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation.

Texas is receiving $10,203,153 from the Prevention Fund this year to reduce disease rates in the state and help ensure today's children are not the first generation in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parent.

Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. Too often, however, we focus on treating disease and injury after they occur instead of preventing them – providing sick care instead of health care.

The ACA and the Prevention Fund give us the opportunity to turn that around – and provides the opportunity for all Americans to be as healthy as they can be.

Prevention Fund GrantsAmountDescription
Communities Putting Prevention to Work$23.1 Million*
  • Austin/Travis County, Texas is using funds to implement a system that will enable health care providers and substance abuse facilities to assess the tobacco-use status of patients and refer them to cessation services.
  • Austin/Travis County Integral Care, the local authority for behavioral health and developmental disabilities, passed a comprehensive tobacco-free worksite policy protecting 19,000 clients and staff from exposure to tobacco both indoors and outdoors at all of their 36 locations.
  • Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department passed a tobacco-free policy for all of their properties protecting 70,800 clients and staff in four facilities from tobacco exposure. Employees, vendors, and visitors may not use tobacco at any time on the premises, including all buildings, parking lots, and any of the locations’ grounds.
  • San Antonio, Texas launched the “¡Por Vida!” healthy menu initiative to offer the City’s 1.3 million residents healthier choices when dining out by branding ¡Por Vida! with easy-to-recognize menu labeling and logos. Healthier options have been made available in over 100 restaurant locations city-wide.
  • In March 2011, teachers in 361 San Antonio schools, representing 254,000 students (83 percent of the county), were provided with enhanced daily physical activity workshops, training tools, and resources to improve the quality of physical education in schools. These resources will result in an increase in the quality of and frequency of physical activity in the student body.
  • San Antonio is the first city in Texas to institute a bike share program with efforts supported through CPPW funding. Working with the Office of Environmental Policy, 14 kiosks have been installed with about 10 more planned. Bike signage has been installed in 43 locations to support this environmental change to promote increased physical activity. The results of this program have surpassed the original goal of the program and have inspired the city of Austin to develop plans to replicate the Bike Share Program.
  • Neighborhood walking groups are expanding in San Antonio. This capacity building activity has been adopted by the Community College System that includes training students on how to form community walking groups as part of their curriculum. Every semester, they will be required to train members of the community to form walking groups in their neighborhoods. In addition, a Walking Group Guide has been developed.
  • In March 2011, Huston-Tillotson University passed a tobacco-free campus wide policy. During the launch of the policy, they promoted cessation resources throughout the campus via posters, handouts, and campus email. They are the first historically black university to adopt tobacco-free campus policy in Texas, the third in the nation, and the first university in central Texas. Promotional efforts have been extended to the East Austin community surrounding the campus and as a result, staff at Huston-Tillotson have been asked to collaborate with a fellow university to develop a similar policy.
  • In April, the Health and Human Services Department launched a new campaign called “Live Tobacco-Free Austin,” and is sponsored in part by the CPPW campaign. In Austin, steps are already in place to promote tobacco-free zone and Live Tobacco- Free Austin hopes to expand those zones. The Ashtrayler, a modified trailer outfitted with thousands of ashtrays that serves as an interactive billboard, will potentially help spread the message to an estimated 1.8 million Travis County residents. People are encouraged to sign the ashtrays and support the campaign. The program further stresses the resources that are available to help smokers quit.
  • In May 2011 the Austin/Travis County Health Department aired a commercial that makes the point that crack, heroin, AIDS and other preventable causes of death—combined—have claimed fewer lives in Travis County than smoking cigarettes. The commercial is part of the “Live Tobacco-Free Austin” campaign that targets disparate populations that experience tobacco-related disease. It raises awareness about cigarette smoking mortality and the burden of tobacco of tobacco use and will reach an estimated 1.8 million Travis County residents.
  • Through a collaborative effort between COSA Parks & Recreation Department, foodservice provider Selrico, and the Healthy Restaurants Coalition the Metro Health Por Vida program was implemented into the Summer Youth Program’s food service. The summer camp menu cycle meets the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program Meal Pattern requirements providing: increased whole grains, reduced saturated fats, and reduced sodium content for menu items. The Parks & Recreation Department is the first COSA department to be awarded the Por Vida designation. The COSA Parks & Recreation Department’s Summer Camp program supplies hot lunches and an afternoon snack to 7,000-10,000 children each weekday from June 13 – August 5, 2011.
  • Effective May 4, 2011 the City of San Antonio made history by becoming the first city government in Texas to meet requirements for the legislatively-created Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite designation by adopting a written worksite lactation policy to proactively support a woman’s choice to breastfeed when returning to work. There are over 1,700 women of childbearing age currently employed with the City of San Antonio, which has a total of 11,000 employees. The policy provides for designated space and accommodations needed by breastfeeding mothers, inclusive of adequate break times, breast pumps for borrow and refrigeration for storage of pumped milk.
Public Health InfrastructureTexas State Department of Health Services $400,000 (FY10) $500,000 (FY11); City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District $100,000 (FY10) $250,000 (FY11); Dallas County Health and Human Services $100,000 (FY10) $249,998 (FY11); Houston City Health and HAwarded to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. The 5-year cooperative agreement program will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including: Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management; Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency; Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators; Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health's best and most promising practices; and Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.
Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious DiseasesTexas State Department of Health Services $544,902 (FY10) $904,754 (FY11); Houston City Health and Human Services $89,443 (FY10) $930,520 (FY11)The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
ARRA evaluation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)$75,148Grants awarded intended to help states “create additional tobacco quitters,” as well as increase data collection efforts for tracking flu-like illnesses to support ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness activities.
HIV LaboratoryTexas State Department of Health Services $142,681; Houston City Health and Human Services $184,076CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV TestingTexas State Department of Health Services $145,567; Houston City Health and Human Services $145,567CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV PlanningTexas State Department of Health Services $850,016; Houston City Health and Human Services $891,108CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
Emerging Infections Program$0The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
Capacity Building Grants$0Money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will go to various national, non-profit professional public health organizations to support efforts by state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to ensure successful adoption of effective practices that strengthen core public health infrastructure investments. These national public health organizations will provide technical assistance, training, and information for health departments to improve their public health infrastructure and the delivery of public health services.
Tobacco Prevention$102,360 (FY10); CDC Tobacco Quitlines $251,470 (FY11)State Supplemental Funding for Healthy Communities will be used to help states implement plans to reduce tobacco use through legislative, regulatory, and educational arenas, as well as enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to significantly increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Money will also support states and terrritories enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Quitlines are hte toll-free numbers people can call to obtain smoking cessation treatments and services.
Health Care Surveillance$0Grants to fund data collection and analysis to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of Americans and boost the collection and analysis of environmental hazards data to protect the health of communities.
Workforce$0The programs are designed to build the primary care workforce and provide community-based prevention. States will receive funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address local current and projected workforce shortages.
Training Centers—HRSAThe University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston $649,801The Public Health Training Centers Program helps improve the public health system by enhancing skills of the current and future public health workforce. Funded organizations (1) plan, develop, operate and evaluate projects that support goals established by the Secretary in preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention; or (2) improve access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. Other PHTC activities include assessing the learning needs of the public health workforce; providing accessible training; and working with organizations to meet strategic planning, education, and resource needs.
Primary care and Behavioral Health ServicesLubbock Regional Mental Health and Mental Health Ret Center $500,000; Austin-Travis County Mental Helath-MR Center $494,900; Montrose Counseling Center, Inc $500,000The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at HHS awarded grants to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. The grants seek to improve health by improving the coordination of healthcare services delivered in publicly funded community mental health and other community-based behavioral health settings.

*One-Time Funding from FY2010


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

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Media Contacts

Albert Lang
(202) 223-9870 x 21
alang@tfah.org