The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced Tuesday it has been awarded a grant of $797,000 dollars for the next year to prevent chronic disease in Pierce County. This grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Transformation Grants to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. It is anticipated that approximately $800,000 will be awarded each year for an additional four years dependent upon the availability of federal funding.
Overall, approximately $103 million in prevention grants will be awarded to 61 states and communities, reaching more than 120 million Americans, to support activities proven to reduce chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Locally, Pierce County’s Community Transformation Grant will focus on four priority areas: tobacco-free living, active living, healthy eating, and expansion of medical services to prevent and treat chronic diseases. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and its partners have developed a comprehensive plan to increase resources for tobacco use prevention, decrease the number of youth that smoke, increase the availability of healthier food choices in the community and in schools, increase opportunities for community members to engage in physical activity, and to partner with medicalproviders to expand services for chronic disease prevention.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this award and to join with our community partners to make a real and meaningful improvement in the health of all Pierce County residents,” stated Dr. Anthony Chen, Director of Health for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
In the United States, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death, disability, and health care costs, accounting for 70 percent of all deaths each year and 75 percent of all medical costs, according to Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department officials. Although chronic diseases are among the most common and costly health problems in the country, they are also among the most preventable. Tobacco use and obesity are the leading causes of chronic disease.