Today, Mark Udall joined Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) to highlight $70 million in federal funding now available to help states and communities address the root causes of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. The Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program was created by the Affordable Care Act as part of the Prevention and Public Health Fund to help create healthier child care environments and communities with the goal of reducing the growth of chronic disease in this country. These funds are now available to governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations that serve a population of up to 500,000.
"Combating chronic illness and improving wellness are among the most important ongoing goals embodied in the Affordable Care Act," Mark Udall said. "These grants will help communities combat obesity, tobacco use and chronic disease. My colleagues and I commend the administration for its continuing support of this community-based facet of the Affordable Care Act."
"This program gives communities the opportunity to make dramatic improvements to the places where Americans live, learn, work and play to address the growing threat to our nation posed by obesity and chronic disease, and I applaud the Administration's efforts to strengthen and improve the program," Carper said. "We know that programs to lower obesity rates among adults and children - like those funded by this grant - are a critical part of our country's efforts to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. This federal funding will help local communities and non-government organizations establish effective programs that create healthier family and child care environments, improving e health outcomes and lowering costs by reducing chronic diseases and related conditions such as obesity."
"If Americans are going to live longer, healthier lives, we have to work together to help reduce obesity rates and the rate of death and disability due to tobacco use," Coons said. "Supporting agencies and organizations that give Americans the tools they need to live healthier lives is extremely important in preventing chronic diseases and reducing health care costs. I encourage state and local governmental agencies and community-based organizations to apply for the Community Transformation Grants program."
"We cannot deny that a healthy community is vital to a strong economy," Tom Udall said. "If we want to control health care costs and reduce the growing prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity we need to promote preventive care at an early age. This program is an important investment for our children, tribes and communities statewide to help build a culture of healthy living for future generations."
The CTG program supports state and local governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the implementation of evidence-based community health programs in order to reduce rates of chronic diseases and conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, and death and disability from tobacco use by 5 percent in the long run. As a result, this funding will help states and communities create a foundation for children's healthy development. In April, Mark Udall, Carper, Tom Udall, and Coons sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to urge the administration to provide these grants to non-governmental organizations. In February, the senators introduced Healthy Kids from Day One, legislation that would create a competitive grant program that is similar to the CTG.