HHS Grants $212 Million to Fight Chronic Diseases

Nearly $212 million in grant awards has been made available to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to support programs aimed at preventing chronic diseases, according to a recent announcement by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

Nearly $212 million in grant awards has been made available to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to support programs aimed at preventing chronic diseases, according to a recent announcement by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

The 193 awards are partly funded by the Affordable Care Act and will focus on populations hardest hit by chronic diseases, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, that are leading causes of death and disability in the United States. The money will go to states, cities, counties, tribes and tribal organizations, and national and community organizations.

“These grants will empower our partners to provide the tools that Americans need to help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes,” Burwell said in a statement. “Today’s news is important progress in our work to transition from a healthcare system focused on treating the sick to one that also helps keep people well throughout their lives.”

The grant funding should reduce rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and tobacco use as well as reduce obesity prevalence, according to HHS. Chronic diseases are responsible for 70% of American deaths each year and account for more than 80% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual spending on medical care.

California is receiving the most money, with $35 million coming through 28 different awards, followed by New York, which is receiving $15 million through 8 awards.

“These grants will enable state and local health departments, national and community organizations, and other partners from all sectors of society to help us prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other leading chronic diseases, and help Americans to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a statement.