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HHS Office of Minority Health awards $5 million to help
communities address the opioid crisis, childhood obesity and serious mental illness


Thursday, September 27, 2017
Contact: OMHMedia@hhs.gov

HHS Office of Minority Health awards $5 million to help
communities address the opioid crisis, childhood obesity and serious mental illness

As part of the Administration’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity and serious mental illness in communities throughout the country, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced just over $5 million in new cooperative agreement awards to 15 organizations. The awards were made through the OMH Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative (Empowered Communities Initiative), which was created to help minority and disadvantaged populations in communities disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity and serious mental illness.

The 15 organizations receiving the Empowered Communities Initiative funds are:

Organization

Focus

City

State

Award

Mariposa Community Health Center, Inc.

Obesity

Nogales

AZ

$349,446

California State University Long Beach Research Foundation

Obesity

Long Beach

CA

$350,000

The Morehouse School of Medicine, Inc.

Opioid

Atlanta

GA

$350,000

The University of Chicago

Serious Mental Illness

Chicago

IL

$334,620

The Community Clinic, Inc.

Obesity

Silver Spring

MD

$349,722

Boston Medical Center Corporation

Opioid

Boston

MA

$349,734

Regents of the University of Michigan

Opioid

Ann Arbor

MI

$349,978

Mississippi State Department of Health

Obesity

Jackson

MS

$350,000

The Institute for Family Health

Obesity

New York

NY

$349,260

Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County

Obesity

Reading

PA

$349,707

Meharry Medical College

Opioid

Nashville

TN

$350,000

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Obesity

Edinburg

TX

$344,689

Virginia Department of Health

Opioid

Richmond

VA

$350,000

City of Huntington

Opioid

Huntington

WV

$350,000

Marquette University

Obesity

Milwaukee

WI

$350,000

Total

$5,227,156

“We selected the opioid crisis, childhood obesity and serious mental illness as our top three clinical priorities at HHS because they are three of the country’s most pressing public health concerns,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D.

The Empowered Communities Initiative provides funding to communities grappling with some of the nation’s most immediate and growing public health challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of overdose deaths involving opioids in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999, and more than 500,000 people died from drug overdoses from 2000 to 2015. The CDC also reports that obesity affects about 12.7 million children in the U.S. (2011-2014) and obesity rates are higher among African Americans and Latinos. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were nearly 10 million adults with serious mental illness in 2014, and people with serious mental illness are more likely to be unemployed, arrested, have inadequate housing and die at an early age.

“Communities throughout the country are struggling to meet the serious and urgent challenges posed by the opioid crisis, and the effects of childhood obesity and serious mental illness,” said Dr. Matthew Lin, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of the HHS Office of Minority Health. “The Empowered Communities Initiative is designed to help communities meet these critical public health challenges by supporting collaborations at the local level that will lead to community-based solutions.”

The Empowered Communities Initiative promotes community-based collaborations, including academic research centers and prevention centers, to improve the health of communities where opioid misuse, childhood obesity and serious mental illness pose the greatest threats.

For additional information visit: www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov .

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9/27/2017 4:45:00 PM