The Broward Regional Health Planning Council was awarded $1,766,476 in federal money to “tackle the root causes of chronic disease such as smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity.”

Broward was the only Florida community to receive one of these “Community Transformation Grants.” The grants were created by the Affordable Care Act.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

All grantees will work to address the following priority areas: 1) tobacco-free living; 2) active living and healthy eating; and 3) quality clinical and other preventive services, specifically prevention and control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Grantees may also focus on creating healthy and safe environments. Grantees will have an additional focus on reducing health disparities since, in addition to lacking access to the health care they need, many lower–income Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and other underserved populations often have higher rates of disease.

The Community Transformation Grants are part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to address the health and well-being of our communities through initiatives such as the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign and HHS’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. They will further amplify the efforts of Million Hearts, an initiative announced earlier this month by HHS to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years. The Prevention and Public Health Fund, as part of the Affordable Care Act, helps support these grants and other initiatives designed to provide States and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some awardees were picked because they have a “disproportionate burden of various health outcomes.” The awardees included “15 communities in the southern United States, an area with the highest rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease [and] 29 of the nation’s large counties and urban areas.”

Sixty-one communities all over the country were awarded grants.

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