DPH Awarded $506,000 To Prevent Chronic Disease

Delaware was awarded a $506,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help prevent chronic diseases and promote health.

The state Division of Public Health (DPH) will use the funds for programs to reduce diabetes, heart disease and chronic disease risk factors. Funded by the Affordable Care Act, the grant is part of approximately $40 million provided nationwide. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year, according to HHS, and they account for nearly three-fourths of the more than $2.5 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care.

“Many chronic diseases are preventable. We want to be doing everything we can to help Delawareans lead healthier lives,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Wellness makes for a better quality of life, a stronger workforce, and it lowers health care costs.”

DPH’s grant will provide expansion of the Stanford Universities Diabetes Self-Management and Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs. A third community evidence-based program will focus on the primary prevention of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease . Other interventions include the creation of a chronic disease and health promotion advocate program and social marketing to the public and health care providers to increase awareness about chronic diseases and their risk factors.

“Many chronic diseases share risk factors and can be addressed by the same strategies and lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “Helping Delawareans so they can eat healthy, be physically active and obtain health screenings will prevent disease and death and reduce health care costs.”

DPH Awarded $2.9 Million To Strengthen Health Of Mothers And Children

Delaware was awarded a $2.9 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 22 to help at-risk families voluntarily receive home visits to improve maternal and child health. The state Division of Public Health’s Family Health Section will use the funds to support the development of a comprehensive early childhood system that addresses health and development from the prenatal period through age 8, reaching high-risk and hard-to-engage populations including rural communities. As part of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, this first-time grant is funded by the Affordable Care Act and was awarded to only 13 states.

“Helping children succeed in school and in business begins early and at home,” said Governor Jack Markell. “This grant will enable us to reach at risk children in their own homes providing resources that will help them build a critical foundation for their future. By helping children in their earliest years, we significantly increase their chances of success later on in life.”

DPH will build upon four existing home-visiting programs; Smart Start, the Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers and Early Head Start. This will involve recruiting home visitors who can serve as health navigators in Wilmington and in southern Delaware.

“The use of community health workers is documented as a method to enhance health education with high-risk and underserved populations,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “This facilitates a culturally competent approach to serving families.”

For more information on the Smart Start program, go to http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/chs/chssmartstart.html

For more information on DPH’s maternal and child health programs, go to http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/chca/dphmchhome.html

For more information on HRSA’s MIECHV program, please visit mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting/.