CHICAGO – September 29, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded Illinois a $24 million grant to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending. The award, $4.8 million per year over five years, was made through a highly competitive national application process for Community Transformation Grants, an initiative of the Affordable Care Act.
“Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are leading causes of death, disability and rising health care costs,” Governor Quinn said. “This grant is the result of federal health care reform, and will support our initiatives to help Illinois’ citizens lead healthier lives. A healthier population will also help our businesses and boost our economic growth by controlling the cost of medical care and health insurance.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was one of only 35 grantees to receive funds to implement proven methods to improve health and wellness. The CDC received 213 eligible applications for Community Transformation Grants (CTG), and awarded a total of 61 grants.
The CTGs focus on three priority areas: tobacco-free living; active living and healthy eating; and quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The grants will support planning and implementation of state and community projects proven to reduce chronic diseases.
The IDPH and its state and community partners will implement “We Choose Health,” a statewide initiative to reduce chronic diseases. This partnership includes several state agencies, local organizations, health providers, schools, businesses and other community groups. Strategies will be targeted toward serving residents in rural counties and racial and ethnic minority groups in urban areas to reduce health disparities.
At the state level, efforts will include increased enforcement of the Illinois Smoke Free Act, promoting breastfeeding and training health workers. At the community level, efforts will be directed to consumers, health care providers, businesses and educational institutions. Programs will focus on reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and discouraging access to tobacco; increasing screening and treatment for tobacco-related illness, hypertension and high cholesterol; improving nutrition; and increasing physical activity.
This grant will dovetail with Illinois’ State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), a prevention-focused, comprehensive approach to improving the health of Illinois residents. In July, the Governor appointed the SHIP Implementation Coordination Council, which will also work collaboratively with the Governor’s Healthcare Reform Implementation Council to promote statewide improvements in public health.
To learn more about Community Transformation Grants, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.