Maryland has received a $1.9 million Community Transformation Grant to support local efforts in reducing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. By tackling the root of poor health, Americans can not only lead better lives, but also drive the cost of health care down. The grant will be administered by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Baltimore Sun reports:
Lt. Governor Anthony Brown said, “This grant will allow us to expand our efforts to prevent obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – the leading causes of chronic diseases – and help build stronger, healthier communities.”
The money will go toward Healthiest Maryland, a campaign that engages leadership, school, businesses and health care in communities to adopt wellness practices.
State health officials say the outcome should not only improve health but save money – 70 percent of all deaths and 75 percent of medical costs are attributed to chronic conditions, many of them preventable.
The five-year grants will be overseen by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says priority areas will be reduced tobacco use, exercise and improved diet and preventive services. They also will focus on reducing health disparities.