Garfield County wins three-year health grant | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County wins three-year health grant

Garfield County Public Health will receive a three-year grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Cancer, Cardiovascular and Chronic Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) Grants Program. The grant award is for $190,000 per year for three consecutive years beginning in July.

Garfield County will use the money to support the formation of local coalitions and advisory groups in developing communitywide plans for increased active living and healthy eating.

“This was a highly competitive grant application process,” said Carrie Godes, public health specialist for the county. “The application required extensive documentation, and only 30 grant applicants received funding.”

The state received more than $37.5 million in requests for the 2015 grant cycle, but only $11.5 million in grants were awarded statewide. The CCPD grant program award is based on the 2004 Amendment 35 tax increase on cigarettes and other tobacco products. The revenue was designated for health care services to improve health outcomes in Colorado.

“Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and pulmonary disease are the three leading causes of death in Garfield County,” Godes said. “Our rates of overweightness, obesity and high cholesterol are on the rise. We know that if we can target the root causes of these issues by increasing healthful eating and more active living, we can start to reverse these trends.”

In 2013, the state selected Garfield County to become a LiveWell community. Livewell focuses on policy development, and environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthier living. “Garfield County is already focused on increasing health and wellness through the LiveWell initiative. The CCPD grant award will enhance the work we have already begun and provide some additional funding and framework to move our goals forward,” Godes said.

The scope of the Garfield County grant centers on three areas. The first is developing a coalition that reviews the county’s built environment and how it can be enhanced to increase physical activity. The group will examine trail systems to encourage biking and walking and look at other structures, such as playgrounds, to see if modifications can be made to increase usage.

The second grant area focuses on improving the quality of foods and beverages available in government settings, public venues and worksites. A coalition will examine food offerings in vending machines and concession operations and make suggestions for improvements.

The third area focuses on developing a Worksite Wellness Advisory Corps. This group will be composed of local professionals who will support municipalities and businesses looking to develop or strengthen workplace wellness programs.

For more information on the local CCPD grant, or Garfield County’s LiveWell initiative, please contact Carrie Godes with Garfield County Public Health at 970-945-6614 or visit http://www.garfield-county.com.


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