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March 31st, 2010
Grijalva Hails $600,000 for Arizona Chronic Disease Services, Calls on State to Maintain Strong Health Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today hailed the announcement of a new $600,000 grant to the Arizona Department of Health Services to assist older citizens with chronic diseases. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administered the grant with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Arizona and 46 other states, cities and territories received funding through HHS’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

The Recovery Act includes $650 million for what are known as “evidence-based” prevention and wellness strategies that deliver specific, measurable health outcomes. Of that $650 million, $32.5 million has been designated specifically to states and territories for chronic disease self-management programs. Evidence-based medicine is based on using the best available medical information to make health and policy decisions.

Arizona will use its grant to create and support evidence-based programs for older adults with chronic diseases, and to build a statewide chronic disease service delivery system. The funding will directly create health care jobs and inform older people with chronic diseases about how to improve their own health. The ultimate goal of the HHS grants is to have states create permanent evidence-based chronic disease support programs.

“We need a strong, lasting health care infrastructure in Arizona, especially in light of recent budget cuts, and this grant is an excellent way to make sure we have one,” Grijalva said. “Creating jobs and sharing medical information with those who need it is the right way to spend this money, and I look forward to seeing the health and economic benefits for our state well into the future.”

The chronic disease self-management program has a goal of using at least 50 percent of each grant within 120 days of the award, meaning the state should see an immediate impact.

“Chronic diseases take a toll not only on personal health, but on public health infrastructure,” Grijalva said. “Assistance to communities that can reduce that medical and financial burden is welcome, and I call on Arizona’s leaders to continue pursuing this kind of funding in the future.”

For more information, contact the HHS Administration on Aging at (202) 357-3438.

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