Illinois Department of Public Health

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We Choose Health

We Choose Health is a multi-year Illinois Department of Public Health initiative to encourage and support the implementation of proactive health programs that fall under three categories: Healthy Eating and Active Living, Smoke-free Living and Healthy and Safe Built Environment. We Choose Health has awarded 21 grantees, covering 60 counties and impacting almost 3 million people. Approximately $3.8 million goes directly to communities to implement programs to address nutrition and access to healthier foods, to increase physical activity and to promote breastfeeding; to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing complexes and outdoor places; to improve the quality of screening and treatment for high blood pressure and cholesterol; to improve communities' built environments to increase opportunities for physical activity; and to improve the social and emotional health of students. Strategies are targeted toward serving residents in rural counties and racial and ethnic minority groups in urban areas to reduce health disparities.

Specific grantees were awarded, August 6, 2012 (Grants Awarded to Improve Health and Wellness).

A multi-sector leadership team and workgroups have been established to oversee and provide guidance for the implementation of the We Choose Health initiative. Workgroups will provide resources and advice for how We Choose Health can best implement strategies to reduce the burden of chronic disease at the community and state levels.

The Community Transformation Grant (CTG)

We Choose Health is supported by a $25 million Community Transformation Grant (CTG) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding, $5 million per year over five years ending in 2016, was awarded after a highly competitive national application process. The Department and its state and community partners will use these funds to implement We Choose Health.

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the Community Transformation Grant (CTG) program supports states and communities that tackle the root causes of poor health so Americans can lead healthier, more productive lives. By promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among population groups experiencing the highest rates of chronic disease, these grants will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. Furthermore, the CTG is an opportunity for both the Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to refine evidence-based public health prevention strategies to increase their effectiveness.

Learn more at the We Choose Health web site.