Today, the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) was awarded a grant of $4.9 million for wellness and tobacco prevention programs in the District.
This grant award is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to support public health efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and decrease smoking—four critical actions for combating chronic diseases and promoting health.
DOH’s grant is part of $372.8 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, awarded to 44 communities, including cities, towns, and tribes. All communities are receiving awards to implement policy, systems and environmental change strategies over the next two years as one of several initiatives of HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work.
“This award will help DOH work with and empower residents to make the necessary changes to their environment where they live, work and play to improve overall health and wellness,” said DOH Director Dr. Pierre Vigilance. “Many residents suffer and unfortunately die from preventable behaviors each year in the District, with tobacco, poor diet and physical inactivity as the top behaviors. These critical funds will allow Live Well DC, our community-based wellness and tobacco prevention project, to address some of our major city-wide health concerns.”
The competitive funding awards to cities, towns, and tribes across the country will allow communities to support healthy choices among their residents through a variety of methods including increasing the availability of healthy foods and beverages, improving access to safe places for physical activity, discouraging tobacco use, and encouraging smoke-free environments.
The District’s funds are for a two year project that will enable the District to further develop and implement Live Well DC, a comprehensive campaign addressing the top preventable causes of death and other behaviors that impact the health and wellness of District residents. The campaign is both policy-oriented and community-driven to create an environment that supports wellness, including freedom from tobacco, where people live, work, learn and play. The funds from Communities Putting Prevention to Work will create resources for DOH, and provide significant funds to the community to build sustainable capacity for tobacco prevention and control efforts beyond the two year award. With guidance and support from District communities, Live Well DC will work to better serve the residents through multiple strategies:
- Use media to inspire and increase resident’s intention to quit smoking and prevent residents from taking up smoking
- Explore limiting tobacco access through license and zoning restrictions for tobacco retail
- Work to restrict point-of-purchase tobacco advertising
- Support the elimination of tobacco promotion price discounts
- Provide population-level social support for cessation through the DC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
To learn more about the District’s prevention and wellness projects as the Live Well DC campaign, visit http://doh.dc.gov/. To learn more about Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery and www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery.
Disclaimer: This press release was produced using a template prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.