Healthy Androscoggin awarded grant to help reduce chronic disease

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LEWISTON — Healthy Androscoggin has been awarded a grant of $313,469 per year for three years to improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction and management opportunities in the Lewiston-Auburn area.

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health award is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will administer the grants.

Overall, HHS awarded $35 million in new grant awards to 49 local health agencies. REACH, a CDC program that began in 1999, focuses on racial and ethnic communities experiencing health disparities. Awardees include local governmental agencies, community-based nongovernmental organizations, tribes and tribal organizations. They will use public health strategies to reduce tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities.

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“Reducing chronic disease rates and controlling health care costs is good for everyone,” said Steven Johndro, executive director for Healthy Androscoggin. “It saves our whole system time and money if our population is healthier. We are also more productive and have better quality of life. We need to invest more in staying healthy rather than treating disease.”

REACH is financed in part by the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act.

To learn more about Healthy Androscoggin’s prevention and wellness projects, visit http://www.healthyandroscoggin.org.

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