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Transforming the Health of Communities

Preventing problems before they start and improving the capacity to detect and control disease threats: these are the core goals of the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund. A focus on prevention offers an opportunity to empower communities and individuals so that Americans live longer, healthier, more productive lives with lower health care costs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the availability of over $100 million in funding for up to 75 Community Transformation Grants aimed at creating healthy environments and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Created as part of the Prevention and Public Health Fund by the Affordable Care Act, Community Transformation Grants will help communities concentrate on the causes of chronic disease and help move our nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. Grants will focus on five priority areas:

  • Tobacco-free living
  • Active living and healthy eating
  • Evidence-based quality clinical and other preventive services, particularly control of blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Social and emotional wellness
  • Healthy and safe physical environments

Communities can choose their priorities and approaches. Some communities may work to protect residents from secondhand smoke and provide greater opportunity for physical activity in school physical education programs. Other communities may also choose to address areas of disease prevention and health promotion that will help reduce chronic disease rates.

These grants build on the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program launched in March 2010 under the Recovery Act. Created to address two of the leading preventable causes of premature death and disability, obesity and tobacco, this program is already benefitting one in six Americans. Communities across the country are working hard to implement innovative solutions to chronic problems.

Thirty communities are working to increase access to affordable fruits and vegetables, including Seattle's Healthy Foods Here, which brings fresh produce and other healthy options to corner stores, mini-marts, convenience stores, and other locations in 20 low-income target neighborhoods. Because of this initiative, an estimated 650,000 residents will have greater access to healthy foods.

Twenty communities are implementing smoke-free air policies in workplaces, bars and restaurants, and other settings. Specifically, smoke-free multi-unit housing policies which will help protect more than 2.4 million children and adults from harmful secondhand smoke exposure are moving forward in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Las Vegas.

This Administration is committed to improving health through prevention. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the Prevention and Public Health Fund will help expand and sustain our nation's ability to prevent disease, detect it early, and manage conditions before they become severe. See how the Fund is helping promote prevention in your state.

For more information about the grants, view the news release.