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January 29th, 2010
Grijalva Commends University of Arizona Research on Chronic Illness, Says Information Will Save State Money

Washington, D.C. – As the push for a better national health care system continues in Congress, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today commended the University of Arizona for receiving a new $790,000 chronic disease research grant through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The money, which is part of a $25 million nationwide CDC effort, has been given to the school’s Prevention Research Center for research on chronic health problems such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes in border communities.

“This is an opportunity to make significant strides on border and statewide health,” said Grijalva, who has championed the creation of a public health insurance option and other major reforms over the past year. “Finding a way to prevent chronic illness and build a healthier, stronger state is a goal every Arizonan shares. This grant puts us another step closer to that goal.” The money, he said, will ultimately go to community health agencies throughout Yuma, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties as the University identifies research partners. Funding for the study will continue through fiscal year 2014.

“This research is absolutely vital to Arizona’s interests,” Grijalva said. “If we can understand the sources of chronic illness and work to reduce them, we can save taxpayer money spent on treatment every year. The result will be nothing less than a better and healthier future.”

The University of Arizona Prevention Research Center was first funded by the CDC in 1988. The Center works towards reducing the occurrence of preventable diseases of people living in the border regions of the United States and Mexico. Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths in the United States, and almost half of all Americans live with at least one chronic illness. Grijalva called those statistics “a testament to the need for more a more effective and responsive health care system,” and praised the University for “moving forward on such vital research even as the policy debate continues in Washington.”

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