FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 10, 2013 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it will receive nearly $8 million in federal funding over the next five years to help prevent and control chronic diseases and their risk factors for Connecticut residents across the state.
“Good health comes not just from receiving quality medical care but from stopping disease before it starts,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “This grant will help increase the focus on both, improving the quality of medical care while also enhancing prevention in our communities.”
Working with the State Department of Education and other state agencies, DPH will use a grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote healthy environments in communities, including workplaces, schools, and early childhood education facilities. The grant also supports working with health systems and communities to reduce complications from multiple chronic diseases.
“Student health status and school success are directly connected,” said State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “Policies and practices that create healthy environments and provide for regular physical activity for young people are essential to improving students’ capacity for success and well-being in school and in life."
This federal grant will support a variety of projects across the state. Projects include information technology services for quality assurance in health systems, the implementation of policies for healthy foods and comprehensive physical activity in schools, self-monitoring of blood pressure in high-risk groups, and community-education initiatives that promote breastfeeding and increase access to diabetes and pre-diabetes education.
Chronic diseases—such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer —are the leading cause of death in Americans and responsible for 75 percent of health care costs in the United States. In Connecticut, 8.5% of adults have diabetes, 28% report having high blood pressure and 24% are obese. In addition, about 20% of children age 5 to 12 years old and 12.5% of high school students are obese.
Commissioner Mullen thanked the over 30 organizations that supported the grant application and will be collaborating on the project. “A strong component of our application is our plan to collaborate with a large number of community partners. These relationships are critical as we work to transform Connecticut into a healthier place to live,” she said.