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Trust for America's Health Applauds HHS Announcement of Prevention and Wellness Fund of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) applauds today's announcement of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) Prevention and Wellness Fund by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The landmark $650 million Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative will provide funds for communities around the country and to every state to institute or expand innovative, proven disease prevention programs that address physical activity, nutrition, obesity, and tobacco use.

"This represents one of the greatest advances for prevention and wellness this country has seen in decades," said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH. "We know that investing in prevention can have a big payoff. The Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative will help Americans avoid needless suffering, significantly reduce health care costs, and contribute to a healthier, more productive workforce."

"With two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese and one in five Americans still smoking, this initiative is tackling two of the biggest health crises in the United States head on. This strategic investment will reduce rates of preventable diseases and give millions of Americans the opportunity to live healthier, higher quality lives. Evidence-based community prevention programs have shown success in improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and preventing tobacco use by making healthy choices easier choices for Americans," Levi stated.

"The ARRA Prevention and Wellness Fund is an important down payment toward improving health in America. Health care reform must take this down payment and move it forward, to allow hundreds of additional communities around the country to benefit from these programs. Real health reform must start with prevention in order to be successful. The future health and wealth of our country demands we improve the health of Americans, not just how we pay for our care," Levi continued.

In 2008, TFAH released a study, Prevention for a Healthier America, which found that for every $1 spent on proven community-based disease prevention programs, the country could net a return of $5.60 in health care costs within five years. The full report is available on TFAH's Web site On Monday, September 21, TFAH will be releasing a new Compendium of Proven Community-Based Prevention Programs report along with The New York Academy of Medicine, featuring a range of evidence-based disease prevention programs that have shown results for improving health and reducing costs in communities.

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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