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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2010

State Public Health Director Announces $3.1 Million to Reduce Obesity and Smoking in Illinois
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to improve public health

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director, Illinois Department of Public Health, today announced Illinois is receiving approximately $3.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help reduce obesity, increase physical activity, improve nutrition and decrease smoking in Illinois.  The award is part of $119.5 million going to states as the first of several initiatives that make up the Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Taking preventive health measures can help reduce health care costs and help people live longer, healthier lives,” Dr. Arnold said.  “The Illinois Department of Public Health will use the $3.1 million in federal funding to combat chronic diseases and promote healthy lifestyles through increased use of the Illinois Tobacco Quitline as well as obesity and smoking cessation programs.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will issue grants to the following organizations to address the problems of obesity and smoking:

• Illinois Head Start Association to increase nutritional education and awareness among children
• Active Transportation Alliance to increase physical activity levels through implementation of the “Walk Across Illinois” program
• Chambers of commerce to promote workplace wellness programs
• Specific health care systems to promote cessation services

IDPH will also work to increase the number of Illinois residents using the Illinois Tobacco Quitline by reaching out to organizations that traditionally have not used the cessation tool, such as non-English speaking service organizations, disabilities service providers, federally qualified health center clients and faith-based organizations.

To learn more about Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery.



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