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Massachusetts and the New Prevention Fund:
An Investment in the Future Health of America

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included the creation of a Prevention Fund – to provide communities around the country with more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, provide prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation.

Massachusetts is receiving $11,421,625 from the Prevention Fund this year to reduce disease rates in the state and help ensure today's children are not the first generation in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parent.

Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. Too often, however, we focus on treating disease and injury after they occur instead of preventing them – providing sick care instead of health care.

The ACA and the Prevention Fund give us the opportunity to turn that around – and provides the opportunity for all Americans to be as healthy as they can be.

Prevention Fund GrantsAmountDescription
Communities Putting Prevention to Work$12.5 Million*
  • In October 2010 Boston launched its first ever nicotine replacement patch give-away to help drive smokers to the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline. As of February, 2011, 482 Boston residents have called the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline for nicotine patches.
  • In Boston, pediatric departments in 8 health centers that serve 30,000 pediatric patients are introducing tobacco assessment, counseling and referral into their systems and electronic health records. Oral health clinics in 9 health centers, who serve an estimated 28,000 people are doing the same. These system changes will help providers deliver appropriate tobacco cessation services to clients in need.
  • Boston is increasing access to healthy fruits and vegetables through community gardens that enable residents of Boston’s most low-income neighborhoods to grow their own produce. Using CPPW funding, 171 beds of produce were grown in the Dorchester community, serving 684 people. By the end of the grant period, it is projected that 400 raised beds of produce will be built, serving a total of 1,600 people, as well as providing greenhouse plots that will serve an additional 200.
  • Boston trained more than 2,500 low-income children on how to safely ride bicycles, surpassing its two-year enrollment goal in only five months. Boston will increase its goal to reach more children during the remainder of the grant period.
  • Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued an executive order requiring city departments to take steps to phase out the sale, advertising, and promotion of sugary beverages on city-owned property. Mayor Menino’s executive order sets science-based standards for what’s considered a healthy beverage and what can be sold or served in or near city buildings. The policy applies to cafeterias, vending machines, concession stands, and beverages served at meetings, city-run programs, and events where food is purchased with city dollars. The Boston Public Health Commission has developed signage and a brochure to help city workers and visitors navigate the labyrinth of beverages to find the healthy choice. Posters featuring a traffic light symbol are being placed near vending machines and the healthiest beverage choices get a green light, the less healthy drinks get a yellow light, and those that are most loaded with sugar get a red light.
  • Carney Hospital in Boston announced that it will ban the sale and provision of sugar-sweetened beverages throughout its campus as a demonstration of the hospital’s commitment to improving community health and stemming the increasing rates of obesity. Carney Hospital is a 159-bed community teaching hospital in the Steward Health Care System, with 1100 employees. The hospital sees an average of 340 outpatients daily who will be affected by this policy.
  • On April 21, 2011, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share to build and operate a bike-sharing network entitled “Hubway” for three years. Hubway is scheduled to open in July with 600 bicycles and 61 stations in the city and projected growth in a few years to 5000 bikes at more than 300 kiosks from Brookline to Somerville. Local officials and planners believe Hubway will generate 100,000 trips in its first year, filling gaps not served by the MBTA and attract casual bicyclists who until now have avoided biking in the city.
  • In May 2011, 249 backyard raised beds were completed in three low-income neighborhoods as part of the Boston CPPW initiative. With the assistance of over 188 youth and adult volunteers and over 49 youth jobs, these beds were constructed as part of a permanent environmental change in these high-need neighborhoods. Over 2,000 residents will now have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • In March 2011, a total of 82 Wellness Champions were trained to increase quality physical activity during the day across 59 Boston elementary, middle and high schools. The trained staff members will soon reach their target goal of 85 schools representing nearly 22,000 students who will be able to benefit from this change in their school environment. A revised PE/PA policy is due for review and approval at the June 2011 school council meeting.
  • Momentum continues to build in Massachusetts to support the April 7, 2011 sugar-sweetened beverage executive order requiring a phase out of the sale and advertisement of sugar-sweetened beverages from city property over the next six months. Harvard School of Public Health Professor Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition, has endorsed the policy publically and in press releases.
  • Nine participating Community Health Center oral health clinics have integrated Quitworks smoking cessation screening and referral systems into their medical records and clinical procedures. During the first month of implementation, the clinics assessed over 694 dental patients for smoking. Of these patients, 217 identified themselves as smokers and 109 accepted referrals to Quitworks or another smoking cessation treatment service. This success exemplifies how the health centers modified and changed current operational procedures within their system to increase screening and referral.
  • On March 23, 2011, “Kick Butts Day” in Boston was recognized at the State House when 47 youth and adults, representing every chapter of “The 84 Movement”, held a rally and met with state legislators to educate them on tobacco industry marketing tactics. Dr. Auerbach, Commissioner of Public Health, gave the opening address and highlighted the key message of the youth activists; ACE, that tobacco is “Appealing, Cheap, and Easy” to buy. Twenty three legislators attended the event.
  • As of May 2011, seven providers of multi-family housing have begun implementation of permanent, building-wide smoke-free policies. These policies are estimated to directly and positively affect more than 3,000 affordable and market rate housing units covered by smoke-free housing policies. In addition, the Boston Smoke-Free Homes website and smoke-free homes registry (www.bostonsmokefreehomes.com) has been revitalized and went live on May 27th. An aggressive and multifaceted media campaign, set to launch in late summer, will drive tenants and landlords to the site and increase smoke-free listings of both rentals and sales throughout the city.
Public Health InfrastructureMassachusetts State Department of Public Health $1,960,128 (FY10) $993,662 (FY11)Awarded to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. The 5-year cooperative agreement program will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including: Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management; Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency; Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators; Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health's best and most promising practices; and Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.
Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases$598,230 (FY10); $1,073,121 (FY11)The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
ARRA evaluation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)$0Grants awarded intended to help states “create additional tobacco quitters,” as well as increase data collection efforts for tracking flu-like illnesses to support ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness activities.
HIV Laboratory$89,268CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Testing$145,567CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Planning$0CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
Emerging Infections Program$0The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
Capacity Building Grants$0Money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will go to various national, non-profit professional public health organizations to support efforts by state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to ensure successful adoption of effective practices that strengthen core public health infrastructure investments. These national public health organizations will provide technical assistance, training, and information for health departments to improve their public health infrastructure and the delivery of public health services.
Tobacco Prevention$83,924 (FY10); CDC Tobacco Quitlines $118,894 (FY11)State Supplemental Funding for Healthy Communities will be used to help states implement plans to reduce tobacco use through legislative, regulatory, and educational arenas, as well as enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to significantly increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Money will also support states and terrritories enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Quitlines are hte toll-free numbers people can call to obtain smoking cessation treatments and services.
Health Care Surveillance$0Grants to fund data collection and analysis to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of Americans and boost the collection and analysis of environmental hazards data to protect the health of communities.
Workforce$0The programs are designed to build the primary care workforce and provide community-based prevention. States will receive funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address local current and projected workforce shortages.
Training Centers—HRSATrustees of Boston University, Boston University Medical Campus $649,977; University of Massachusetts Amherst $614,589 (FY11)The Public Health Training Centers Program helps improve the public health system by enhancing skills of the current and future public health workforce. Funded organizations (1) plan, develop, operate and evaluate projects that support goals established by the Secretary in preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention; or (2) improve access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. Other PHTC activities include assessing the learning needs of the public health workforce; providing accessible training; and working with organizations to meet strategic planning, education, and resource needs.
Primary care and Behavioral Health ServicesCommunity Healthlink, Inc $460,690The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at HHS awarded grants to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. The grants seek to improve health by improving the coordination of healthcare services delivered in publicly funded community mental health and other community-based behavioral health settings.

*One-Time Funding from FY2010


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. www.healthyamericans.org

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Media Contacts

Albert Lang
(202) 223-9870 x 21
alang@tfah.org