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Harkin Welcomes Grants to Create Healthier Communities

Prevention Fund Awards $3 Million to Iowa Department of Public Health

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised the Department of Health and Human Services’ announcement of $100 million in Community Transformation Grants, authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Harkin, the author of the ACA’s prevention and wellness provisions, led the charge to create this grant program under the new Prevention and Public Health Fund, which will support localities in creating new initiatives to help Americans eat healthy, exercise, quit smoking, and make other healthy choices. 

“These investments in prevention will pay huge dividends in the years to come.   By dedicating resources to preventing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other very costly conditions and diseases, we have a tremendous opportunity both to improve quality of life for Americans and to control health care spending.  These grants will allow communities to tailor their own programs to the unique needs of their residents, targeting the causes of chronic health problems through cost-effective investments in prevention. Today’s announcement offers enormous potential to turn the environment in which Americans work, live and raise their families into one that offers a much greater array of healthy choices,” Harkin said.

The Community Transformation Grants are awarded to states on a competitive basis by the Department of Health and Human Services. Grants will fund the development and implementation of programs that promote individual and community health, and prevent the incidence of chronic diseases associated with obesity, tobacco use, and other factors. States must use at least 20% of their award in rural areas, and 50% of the grants must be passed on from the state to local partners.

Harkin, a longtime champion of prevention and wellness, successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the Affordable Care Act as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and has fought for increased funding for prevention and wellness programs in the Senate as Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

Harkin’s home state of Iowa was awarded a grant of $3,007,856 for the Iowa Department of Public Health.  Iowa’s partner organizations for the Community Transformation program include 26 local health offices and:

  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Iowa Food Systems Council
  • Linn County Public Health Department
  • Jefferson County Health Department
  • Iowa Department on Aging
  • Iowa Sports Foundation
  • Iowa Prevention Disabilities Council
  • Iowa Primary Care Association
  • Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control
  • Iowa Bicycle Association
  • Iowa Association of Regional Councils
  • American Heart Association-Midwest Affiliate
  • Iowa Department of Economic Development
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Iowa Health System
  • Iowa Medical Society
  • Cass County Local Board of Health
  • Siouxland District Health Department