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October 2009 St@teside

Communities Putting Prevention to Work: An Opportunity for States to Partner with Communities

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently unveiled the details of how the $650 million of ARRA funds designated for prevention and wellness activities will be invested. The largest proportion, $373 million, is designated to Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a comprehensive public health initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control that will fund communities across the country to implement high-impact, broad-reaching policy, environmental, and systems changes that aim to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, decrease obesity, and decrease smoking over a two-year time period. SCI is encouraged to learn that the $277 million in remaining funds will be available for states to “support, extend, and evaluate the reach and impact of the community project.”

This initiative comes at a critical time. It provides an important opportunity for states to work alongside their community partners to support the states’ long-term visions for health reform. These partnerships are essential steps toward becoming a healthier nation.