Operation UNITE has received a $500,000 grant for prevention and healthy lifestyle programs across Kentucky.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Community Transformation Grants to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending.
“Promoting healthy lifestyle choices is already an essential component of UNITE’s drug prevention and education programs,” said Karen Kelly, UNITE director. “This Community Transformation Grant will facilitate development of many partnerships so we can address, with a unified voice, risky health behaviors and associated preventable illnesses and premature death rates.”
UNITE is one of 26 grantees to receive an award to implement changes by laying a foundation for community prevention efforts to ensure long-term success. The grant is expected to run for five years, with projects expanding their scope and reach over time as resources permit. The Community Transformation Grants will support the planning and implementation of state and community projects proven to reduce chronic diseases — such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
UNITE will serve 119 counties (excluding Jefferson) through the grant. The region has a population of nearly 3.6 million residents, of which about half (1.8 million) live in the state’s 85 rural counties — primarily the Appalachian and Mississippi Delta regions.