Heart disease and stroke continue to be our #1 and #5 leading cause of death in North Dakota. In the past CDC has helped to fund statewide efforts to reduce the risk factors associated with childhood obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke with disease specific grant funding. The goal of CDC grant funding is to make healthy living easier for all Americans by focusing on healthy environments in workplaces, schools, early childhood education facilities and in our rural communities.
Through 2012-2013, the CDC grant funded over $941,000 in North Dakota to help our citizens prevent chronic diseases, including almost $337,000 specifically for heart disease and stroke. Since many of these chronic diseases are inter-related or happen at the same time, often with similar risk factors, the CDC now suggests that by combining approaches, public health programs can work together to be more impactful and efficient.
Recently, CDC announced new grant funding levels for chronic disease. North Dakota was awarded $502,963 , which represents a significant reduction in the only resources available to address chronic diseases in our state. Because the new award is not disease-specific, this may have a significant impact in North Dakota because it eliminates the heart disease and stroke program within the Department of Health. This new approach eliminates funding support for a full-time project director and community based funding for such efforts as hypertension, North Dakota’s leading chronic disease with significant impact on heart attack and stroke.
It’s true that many chronic diseases occur at the same time or are inter-related, however, North Dakota needs strong, consistent, strategic leadership for heart disease and stroke from prevention screenings through, access to care and rehabilitation services in order to continue to improve outcomes from our #1 and #5 leading causes of death.