Health department gets $3.5M for chronic disease

 By The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The Rhode Island Department of Health has received a $3.5 million grant to help prevent obesity and other chronic diseases, together with reducing health disparities among at-risk populations.

The award, announced Friday, is through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is one of 21 awards to state and city health departments totaling $69.5 million. The new federal program expands on a state-level effort that began last year.         

Half of Rhode Island‘s funds will go to support activities in four to eight communities. The efforts will focus on promoting healthier lifestyles—particularly for those at high risk—to prevent diabetes, heart disease and stroke.                 

Low-income individuals and those with inadequate access to care or poor quality of care will be the priority populations.

© The Associated Press/WLNE-TV 2014