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UHS seeks $23.5 million in public health funding

July 18, 2011

The Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources, a unit of University Health Services (UHS) at UW–Madison, has submitted a grant application to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for $4.7 million a year in public health funding over five years to combat chronic disease in Wisconsin.

The application, to the CDC’s Community Transformation Grant program, seeks funding for prevention initiatives against obesity and tobacco use and exposure, which are risk factors for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. If awarded, the funds would be distributed to local community-based coalitions and other public health partners throughout the state.

Public health advocates expressed concern last week when Secretary of Health Services Dennis Smith would not commit to providing a required letter from the state Department of Health Services in support of the grant application. Without such a letter from the state, the application cannot be considered complete and might have been ineligible for consideration.  

University Health Services received the letter from DHS last week.

“The state of Wisconsin faces some serious public health challenges,” says Tom Sieger, UHS director of prevention services. “And there’s plenty of evidence that issues such as obesity and tobacco must be addressed on the community and environmental level, not just as an individual’s health problem. This type of funding is critical to supporting the types of prevention efforts that can help create a healthier Wisconsin going forward, and we greatly appreciate DHS’s support of this application.”

The Milwaukee Health Department also announced plans to submit an application to the same program for nearly $5 million over five years in chronic disease programs in Milwaukee County. They also received the required letter of support last week.  

For more than 35 years, the Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources has advanced public health and prevention efforts in the state through accurate, up-to-date information, training and technical assistance to help Wisconsin youth, families, schools and communities in the promotion of healthy practices and the prevention of injury and disease.

In keeping with the Wisconsin Idea, the organization strives to make information about environmental strategies, research-based programs, and new technologies and practices available to residents beyond the university and throughout the state.