The University of Florida and the Florida Department of Health were awarded almost $2 million in federal grants partially funded by the Affordable Care Act yesterday.

The Department of Health was awarded $1,093,662 for a Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes Grant; UF was awarded $645,158 for a Public Health Training Center Grant.

Via the U.S. Department of Health press release on the grants:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today over $40 million in grant funding, partly supported by the Affordable Care Act, to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments and several schools of public health to enhance the nation’s public health infrastructure and strengthen the public health workforce. Awarded in nearly every state, this funding will improve the delivery of necessary public health services in communities, cities and states across the country.

“These funds will help health departments around the country maximize the impact of the essential services they provide every day, and build the public health workforce to ensure we’re ready to meet the public health challenges of tomorrow,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Strengthening our nation’s public health system is critical to protecting the health of all Americans.”

The grants will fund key state and local public health programs supported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Most of these grant dollars come from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. Additional HRSA dollars supplement this investment.

While other federal grants have required budget authority, specifically those funded by the Affordable Care Act, a spokesperson for the Department of Health says that the agency has existing authority.

The subject of federal health grants has become a controversial subject. The state of Florida is currently one of only five states rejecting grants that implement the Affordable Care Act in the state of Florida. While dismissing some grants from the law because the state is in litigation with the federal government over the law, legislators have been allowing some money from the law to make its way to the state.

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