Health and Science
Wed July 25, 2012
Wisconsin Gets Federal Money to Promote Healthy Living
Federal money from the “Affordable Care Act” is coming to Wisconsin in the form of grants to promote healthy living. The money will go to combat chronic illnesses that eat up much of every healthcare dollar spent in this country.
It's called “Transform Wisconsin.” $6.6 million in federal grants is being distributed to 30 different programs in 25 counties.
One focus is obesity. The “Farm to School” initiative aims to connect Wisconsin vegetable farmers with school districts. Dave Wilfert owns a 700-acre vegetable farm in Two Rivers, in eastern Wisconsin. He already works with five school districts and hopes to expand his farm's presence in schools due to the grants. “I think, here with this program, we're bringing a little extra money to put on the line, get some of these things up and running. A dollar always helps move things more than anything else you know.”
$6.6 million is a lot of money, even spread over two years.
Tom Sieger is with the UW-Madison Health Services, which is administering the grants. He announced the program at a Green Bay YMCA. Besides obesity he says the “Transform Wisconsin” money will go to promote physical activity and reduce smoking. “We'll be promoting things like joint use agreements, where our schools and our recreational facilities in communities are open and accessible to everyone in the community. We'll be working with landlords and owners of multi-unit housing to talk about the benefits of becoming smoke free.”
Eight anti-smoking grants were distributed. One of them, in Outagamie County, amounts to $160,000 to encourage landlords to turn their buildings smoke free.