Leon County Applies for Health Education Grant

Health professionals say it's impossible to calculate the burden chronic diseases cause in terms of pain and suffering. One county is trying to help educate its citizens in this fight.

Leon County is applying for a grant from the Center for Disease Control called "Steps to a Healthier U.S."

Bob Hester of the Leon County Health Department says, "It's part of the President's program to help improve overall health in the U.S."

Joe Sharp, the director of Health and Human Services, adds, "It's an excellent opportunity for us to get some funds for some much needed services."

Every year, millions of Americans die from chronic diseases like diabetes or obesity. Doctors say many of these deaths could have been prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Bob Hester says, "The grant targets several disease states, obesity, diabetes, and asthma. It looks for intervention that will improve those disease states involving better nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention and cessation."

Joe Sharp adds, "The grant, if we are successful, will provide us funds for the opportunity to create some significant case and self management education programs for chronic diseases."

The Health Department says the $1.2 million grant is more than an ounce of prevention. It's education towards a healthier Leon County.

In order to qualify, applicants for the grant must have a population of at least 400,000 people. Leon County is going to work with six more neighboring counties in order to make those numbers.