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PR- 122-10
March 19, 2010


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley today announced two grants totaling more than $31 million that will bolster the City’s ongoing efforts to prevent chronic diseases and improve public health by decreasing smoking, reducing obesity, increasing physical activity and improving nutrition. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funding is part of a two-year national initiative called Communities Putting Prevention to Work. The grant was awarded based on proposals developed by the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to improve health through policy and environmental changes. The Fund for Public Health in New York will administer the funds.

“This new support further validates the approach we have taken for more than eight years of working to prevent illness before it happens – the most effective way to save lives and reduce healthcare costs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New Yorkers are living longer than ever before, in part due to our ambitious policies and this grant will help ensure that important programs and services continue to have success. The President and his Administration deserve an enormous amount of credit for having the vision to begin reshaping the nation’s historically backwards approach to healthcare – changing the focus to preventing people from getting sick, as opposed to only being concerned after they get sick.”

“New Yorkers can combat the leading causes of premature death by quitting smoking, being more active and maintaining heart-healthy diets,” said Commissioner Farley. “The new Federal funding will help strengthen our aggressive efforts to make these healthy choices easier for New Yorkers, no matter what neighborhood they live in.”

The City will use the new funding to expand access to healthy foods, create new opportunities for physical activity, and expand efforts to discourage smoking and help people quit. Specifically, the grant will:

  • Support the Green Carts and Healthy Bodegas initiatives, which improves access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods;
  • Promote the adoption of New York City’s Active Design Guidelines, which encourage architects and planners to create buildings and neighborhoods that promote physical activity; and
  • Raise awareness of the health impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages, tobacco and excessive salt usage.

The grants also will reinforce the City’s hard-hitting media campaigns that motivate smokers to quit, help strengthen the efforts of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free City and expand cessation services for populations with high smoking rates, including young adults, low-income New Yorkers and people with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

New York City is one of 44 communities receiving awards through the Federal initiative. The grants, totaling $372.8 million nationwide, were awarded today to support specific two-year proposals to improve health through policy and environmental changes. New York City’s grant will target four of the key goals of the City’s strategic health policy, Take Care New York 2012 – being tobacco-free, promoting physical activity and nutrition, preventing heart disease, and creating healthy neighborhoods. The new Federal funding will also advance Take Care New York 2012 by supporting new online services for smokers who want to quit, and by helping improve food options in schools.

In order to maintain accountability and transparency in the City’s use of stimulus funding, all Federal stimulus dollars allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at on the City’s “Stimulus Tracker.” The website provides an overview of all stimulus dollars awarded to date and provides detailed information about each stimulus-funded project, including the number of jobs created or retained by each project per quarter. Funding can be tracked from initial allocation through project completion and an interactive map plots the location of all stimulus projects throughout the City.


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958

Erin Brady (DOHMH)   (212) 788-5290

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