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Stanislaus County receives federal grant for preventative health programs

POSTED September 30, 2011 9:43 p.m.

A federal grant aimed at getting to the root causes of chronic diseases was recently awarded to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

The Capacity Building Grant of $293,899 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a block of Community Transformation grants.

The Capacity Building Grant money is to be used for laying the foundation for sustainable community prevention programs and practices that tackle smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity.

In total, the HHS awarded about $103 million in prevention grants in 61 states and communities.

“We are very excited to be a recipient of this grant award, especially for our Central Valley,” said Phoebe Leung, assistant director of the health services agency. “The health services agency has been working with our community partners to address chronic diseases and health disparities in this county. This funding will allow us to enhance the capacity of staff and strengthen our existing collaborative efforts.”

Chronic diseases are responsible for 75 percent of health care costs in the United States, according to HHS. The root causes of chronic disease are often related to economic, social, and physical factors such as tobacco use or a lack of places to exercise.

“Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are taking a devastating toll on America’s health,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will administer the grants. “This initiative will build on successful programs that have helped people lead healthier lives and will enable communities and states to improve the healthy choices for their residents.”

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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