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New Recovery Act Funds for Prevention to Jumpstart Proven Local Approaches


Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558

New Recovery Act Funds for Prevention to Jumpstart Proven Local Approaches
Washington, D.C. (September 17, 2009)—
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) applauds today’s release by the United States Department of Health and Human Services of economic stimulus funds for prevention of chronic disease, known as the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. The $373 million announced today, the first installment of a planned $650 million initiative, will enable 30-40 communities nationwide to begin making major changes that have been proven to help people eat better, lose weight, exercise more, and avoid tobacco use. 

The Administration’s approach to the use of these funds recognizes that successful prevention of chronic disease and disability has two dimensions: 1) what happens in the healthcare system when people seek medical attention; and 2) the social and environmental factors that influence people every day.  The new funds will help public and private agencies to collaborate in preventing disease in large populations by planning and implementing evidence-based strategies to promote healthy behavior in schools, workplaces, and throughout their communities.  Many effective approaches exist to make healthier food and beverage choices available wherever people eat, work, and play, increase opportunities for physical exercise, and discourage tobacco use. 

“There is a compelling body of evidence that our nation can reduce the personal and economic consequences of chronic diseases through prevention strategies that address the health behaviors of entire communities,” said NACCHO Executive Director Robert M. Pestronk. “However, few resources have been devoted to them.  The Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative is a strong start to the long-term effort necessary to improve health and quality of life for all Americans.”

NACCHO is the national organization representing the nation's 2,800 local health departments. These agencies work every day on the front lines to protect and promote the health of their communities. NACCHO develops resources and programs and promotes national policies that support effective local public health practice.