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North Carolina Awarded $7.4 Million to Help Create Healthier Communities

For release: Immediate    September 27, 2011
Contact: Julie Henry (919) 855-4840

RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that the N.C. Division of Public Health has been awarded $7.4 million as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Community Transformation Grants. The grant will support public health efforts in local communities to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

"North Carolina has long led the nation in community-based efforts to improve health," Gov. Perdue said. "By putting these federal dollars to work at the local level, we can help our citizens live healthier, longer lives and continue to build a strong workforce to make North Carolina an even more appealing place to live and work."

HHS awarded approximately $103 million in 2011-2012 in prevention grants to 62 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. The grants are expected to run for five years.

"The cost of managing chronic diseases in North Carolina is $6 billion and rising – and that only accounts for the three risk factors of tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition," Dr. Jeff Engel, state health director, said. "This investment in prevention will help control costs, but more importantly, will save lives, reduce disability and improve quality of life for millions of North Carolinians."

The Community Transformation Grants will focus on three priority areas across the nation: 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.

The N.C. Division of Public Health will work with agencies, organizations and local coalitions to: build upon recent success with second-hand smoke exposure in public places; make communities more walkable and bikeable through land-use and transportation policy; make public places such as schools more accessible for physical activity through joint-use agreements that allow people, for example, to walk on a school track after school hours; and increase access and affordability of healthy foods in convenience stores, farmers markets and farm stands, with an emphasis on expanding access in low-income communities.

To learn more about Community Transformation Grants, visit www.cdc.gov/communitytransformation.

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