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Kent County to Receive $1 Million Federal Grant to Improve the Health of Residents | Health

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Kent County to Receive $1 Million Federal Grant to Improve the Health of Residents
Health, News
Kent County to Receive $1 Million Federal Grant to Improve the Health of Residents

This story was submitted by Anne Veltema of the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 29, 2011 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has selected Kent County as the recipient of a $1 million grant to develop a Community Transformation Implementation Plan. The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Transformation Grants to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending.

The three-year development grant will bring multiple organizations together to create a strategic approach to reduce three health measures by 5 percent:

• Death and disability due to tobacco use
• Death and disability due to heart disease and stroke
• Obesity rates

“The selection of our community as an award grantee is wonderful news,” said Erin Inman, director, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities. “The funds will enable our region to pool resources and propose change with the greatest impact. Receiving the grant demonstrates that the Health and Human Services Department understands the value of collaborative efforts in Kent County. Our community can now work toward the same goal and measure success in a uniform way.”

“We need to act now in order to stop the alarming growth rates in chronic disease and obesity in Kent County,” said Bill Anstey, Deputy Administrative Health Officer, Kent County Health Department and Community Transformation Implementation Plan leadership team chair. “The team that we have assembled knows that we must all work together if we are going to positively impact current public health issues. This grant will allow for the needed expansion of the work we are currently doing.”

Representatives from 14 community organizations are poised to develop the strategic plan although additional partners are welcome. Organizations include:

• Cherry Street Health Services
• City of Grand Rapids
• Grand Rapids African American Health Institute
• Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
• Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
• Kent County Health Department
• Kent Intermediate School District
• Metro Health Hospital
• Michigan Department of Community Health
• Saint Mary’s Health Care
• Spectrum Health
• YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

The Health and Human Services Department awarded approximately $103 million in prevention grants to 61 states and communities, reaching more than 120 million Americans. The Community Transformation Grants will support the planning and implementation of state and community projects proven to reduce chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Nationwide, the Community Transformation Grants will focus on three priority areas: tobacco-free living; active living and healthy eating; and evidence-based quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Funding awards are distributed among state and local government agencies, tribes and territories, and state and local non-profit organizations. Awards went to grantees in 36 states, including seven tribal organizations and the Republic of Palau. More than 20 percent of grant funds will be directed to rural and frontier areas. The grants are expected to run for five years, with projects expanding their scope and reach over time as resources permit.

Visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation to learn more about Community Transformation Grants.

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