State awards $440,000 to community organizations to combat chronic disease

For Immediate Release: February 20, 2015

State awards $440,000 to community organizations to combat chronic disease

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) today announced that four community organizations in Michigan are being awarded $440,000 in grant funding to combat chronic disease.

Programs are intended to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, with funding going to Grand Rapids YMCA Association, the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, ProMedica/Bixby Hospital, and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

“These funds provide an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and support local partners in addressing risk factors in our high burden communities,” MDCH Director Nick Lyon said. “With these additional resources, the selected community programs will go far to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for Michigan residents.”

While great strides have been made, chronic diseases still affect nearly 4 million Michiganders and cause more than 50,000 deaths every year in our state. In addition to impacting the quality of life for millions of residents, the financial burden related to chronic disease accounts for $49.5 billion of an estimated $66 billion in annual health care spending.

The purpose of this grant project is to support population-wide and priority population approaches to preventing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and to reduce health disparities. Funded projects are four years in duration, and will begin March 1. 

When looking to reduce chronic disease, minimizing risk factors by addressing obesity is key. In Michigan, 65 percent of adults are either overweight or obese. Compared to the 20 percent of healthy-weight adults, 56 percent of obese adults have comorbid diagnoses of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

The four selected programs demonstrated system approaches to promote health and reinforce healthful behaviors. These system approaches include efforts to increase healthy eating, and access to healthy foods and physical activity.

Additionally, projects support lifestyle improvements among the general population, especially those with high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes (including those with prediabetes) and those with uncontrolled high blood pressure. 

Agencies were selected for funding through an open, competitive application process through MDCH. Funded projects also support health systems interventions and community clinical linkages that focus on both the general population and priority populations who experience racial/ethnic or socioeconomic disparities including inadequate access to health care, poor quality of health care or low income. 

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