WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Trust for America's Health (TFAH) commends the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for today's release of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 Prevention and Public Health Fund.
"Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. The Prevention Fund gives us a chance to shift the paradigm from a sick care system that focuses on treating disease after it happens to a health care system, where we keep people healthy in the first place," said Rich Hamburg, Deputy Director of TFAH. "The Prevention Fund is an historic investment that will reduce health care costs for families and businesses, prevent suffering, save millions of lives, keep Americans healthy and at work, and improve quality of life."
The Prevention Fund provides a $16.5 billion investment over the next 10 years for communities around the country to use for proven, effective ways to keep Americans healthier and more productive.
"By preventing disease, we help curb costs down the road by sparing millions of Americans from developing serious, preventable diseases," Hamburg continued. "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. And, today's children are in danger of becoming the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents."
The FY 2011 Prevention Fund will provide resources that will help communities in every state:
- Reduce tobacco use;
- Help kids eat healthier meals and snacks and get more physical activity in school;
- Expand opportunities for kids and families to be more active;
- Improve nutrition by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables and farmers markets; and
- Improve prevention services in low-income and underserved communities.
The Fund will also improve state and local health departments' ability to:
- Provide flu and other immunizations;
- Protect food, air, and water;
- Fight infectious diseases;
- Respond to natural disasters like floods and hurricanes; and
- Prepare for terror attacks.
The Fund also helps expand the public health workforce by providing the well-equipped labs and technology it needs to protect us from disease outbreaks and other threats. The Fund supports science and research to develop more and even better ways to prevent disease and keep families and communities safe and healthy.
One hallmark program of the Prevention Fund is the Community Transformation Grants (CTG), which provide members of communities around the country the resources needed to work together at the local level to create health initiatives tailored to its specific needs. This can involve small business owners, faith leaders, youth leaders, employers, community groups, parents, law enforcement officials, schools, health care providers, and individuals.
"We all have a responsibility to make healthy choices for ourselves and to take steps to prevent illness in our own lives. But there are things we can do together – as communities – to support individuals and families who want to take personal responsibility. The Community Transformation Grants give communities across the country ways to help – by making healthy choices easier choices," said Hamburg.
With a CTG Grant, a community can:
- Improve nutrition and physical education programs in schools;
- Launch initiatives to reduce tobacco use, especially among children and adolescents;
- Improve access to healthful, affordable foods through farmers' markets and by making fresh fruits and vegetables available in local stores;
- Create injury prevention programs;
- Encourage workplace wellness programs and offer healthy choices at work cafeterias;
- Develop community gardens;
- Provide more information about healthy choices, such as healthy options in restaurants; and
- Offer healthy choices in neighborhoods that need extra help.
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
SOURCE Trust for America's Health