Healthy Lucas County’s chronic disease prevention and management project is among 39 awardees nationwide receiving funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Partnerships to Improve Community Health program. A three-year, $2.5 million grant was awarded to the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, which is partnering with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and Live Well Greater Toledo/YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo. Healthy Lucas County also is supported by Fostering Healthy Communities, a collaboration of ProMedica, Mercy Health and the University of Toledo Medical Center.
Nationwide, the burden of chronic disease is growing at a significant pace, according to the CDC. More than half of American adults have at least one chronic disease, and 70% of U.S. deaths are caused by chronic diseases, the CDC said. Plus, it added, more than 86% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion in annual healthcare costs is related to care and treatment of chronic diseases.
The CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health program supports implementation of evidence-based strategies to improve community health while reducing the prevalence of chronic disease and related risk factors. Since obesity and many chronic diseases are preventable – including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – Healthy Lucas County’s grant project focuses on three areas:
- Increasing access to healthy fruits and vegetables in neighborhood corner stores.
- Protecting people who live in, work at and visit multi-unit housing complexes from secondhand smoke.
- Connecting residents with or at risk for chronic diseases – especially diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease – to needed medical and social services.
A coalition of community organizations, Healthy Lucas County is especially focused on improving the health of low-income residents to alleviate health disparities and help everyone live to their fullest potential. Health disparities can be caused by income, education level, access to health care, sex, race, ethnicity, employment status and other factors.
The infographic below zeroes in on some behavioral risk factors and other statistics that play a part in the prevalence of chronic disease in Lucas County.