The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that Public Health - Seattle & King County has been awarded two highly-competitive federal stimulus grants totaling $25.5 million dollars over two years to address obesity and tobacco use, two of the leading contributors to premature illness, death and health care costs in the United States and locally.
“It’s a huge credit to our Public Health staff and partners that we were able to get such a competitive grant to improve our community’s health,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. Over 600 communities applied for approximately 40 grant awards through the federal stimulus initiative.
“This funding will support our community partners in accelerating changes that will reduce the human and economic costs of obesity and tobacco use,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.
“Fighting obesity and tobacco use is a big part of improving Washington’s health,” Governor Chris Gregoire said. “These funds will go into communities where they’re greatly needed and can make a real difference. This is a wise and welcome investment in our state.”
The grants will primarily fund community agencies, schools, businesses and local governments in working to change policies, systems and environments to make healthier choices easier and more accessible for everyone. The majority of the funding will be targeted to those communities in King County most affected by obesity and tobacco.
Examples of activities include supporting corner stores in offering more healthy options, providing healthier foods in schools and childcare settings, restricting tobacco marketing and providing smoke-free environments, and promoting city planning, zoning and transportation that is pedestrian and bike friendly.
Goals of the grant include:
• Increase levels of physical activity and healthy nutrition
• Decrease rates of overweight and obesity
• Decrease smoking rates, smoking initiation by teens and exposure to secondhand smoke
• Reduce health inequities by focusing on communities with the greatest disadvantage
In upcoming weeks, Public Health will issue request for proposals (RFP) for community agencies, schools and local governments to apply for grant fund projects for policy, system and environmental change.
Also, on March 26, Public Health will host a community information meeting for organizations interested in applying for funding. More information about the grants, this community information meeting and the RFP process will be available at http://www.kingcounty.gov/health/cppw