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Date: July 16, 2001
For Release: Immediately

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced that HHS plans to award hundreds of "micro-grants" to community organizations for activities that support the goals of Healthy People 2010, the nation's public health agenda for the next decade.

Worth up to $2,010 each, the micro-grants represent a new, low-cost approach to foster effective prevention efforts at the community level. Each grant will support efforts by local  groups to promote health education, quality care, access to care and other projects that support the far-reaching national health goals of Healthy People 2010. Faith-based organizations will be among those eligible to apply for funding.

"This is a new idea for HHS, a way to leverage very small grants into very widespread action," Secretary Thompson said. "Though small in size, these grants can have a large impact by tapping the potential of local organizations to make a difference in the lives of the people closest to them."

Healthy People 2010 has established a broad set of goals and specific targets for improving the nation's health over the next 10 years and, for the first time, has identified the Leading Health Indicators -- 10 high priority public health challenges. The plan is grouped into focus areas devoted to a comprehensive array of diseases, conditions and public health challenges, such as promoting exercise, reducing obesity and discouraging tobacco use.

HHS will launch the new micro-grant initiative with a two-year pilot project. If successful, the approach could be expanded nationally. HHS will commit between $500,000 to $700,000 to a pilot project this year in order to study the potential of the micro-grant approach to further the goals of Healthy People 2010.

The money will be distributed to local, non-profit organizations -- and coalitions of such groups -- in different geographic areas to support programs designed to increase the quality and years of healthy life of residents and to eliminate health disparities.

Grantees could use the money for such activities as developing anti-smoking campaign materials for local students, coordinating substance abuse prevention forums for parents in local schools, or other specific projects designed to promote prevention and improve health locally. Projects that involve coalitions of community groups may receive preference in obtaining funds.

"The application will be easy to complete, so local groups can tap the money quickly and then focus immediately on health prevention projects in their communities," HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Arthur J. Lawrence said. "We anticipate that much of the process will be handled electronically."

HHS will choose several not-for-profit organizations or groups of organizations to recruit, review and award grant applications in different geographic areas. Those organizations will make the decisions about micro-grants for specific community projects in their region. A notice published in today's Federal Register explains the application process. HHS' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will oversee the pilot project.

More information about Healthy People 2010, including a copy of the Federal Register notice, is available at www.health.gov/healthypeople

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at www.hhs.gov/news.

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