Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant

United States Disease Prevention Program
Flexible Funding for New York State's Public Health Programs

The Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant provides funding for health problems in the state of New York that range from tuberculosis to adult physical activity. PHHS Block Grant dollars fund a total of 19 different New York State health programs.

PHHS Block Grant funds allow the state of New York to use dollars where we need them, when we need them to protect the public's health. New York's plan provides for funding of prevention programs committed to reducing the burden of the leading causes of death and disability and supports the State's vital public health infrastructure through programs such as public health laboratory capacity, environmental radiation surveillance and emergency preparedness, regional epidemiology services, and food-borne disease surveillance. Examples follow of programs that serve our state's unique health needs through the PHHS Block Grant. None of these programs could be sustained without PHHS Block Grant funds. Although some receive categorical funds as enhancements, the categorical funds alone are grossly insufficient to enable the programs to accomplish their goals.

Physical Activity in Adults – Healthy Heart Program

PHHS Block Grant funds are used to promote and evaluate increases in the number of adults participating in regular sustained physical activity. From 1995-2004, nearly 1.2 million New York State residents received help from local HHP contractors to increase their physical activity levels. Examples of specific outcomes include: 1) doubling the use of walking/bike trails in Warren and Washington Counties; 2) replacing whole milk with low fat milk in the school meals program in Johnson City affecting 2,700 children; 3) increasing by 34% the days per week of exercise by seniors in Ulster County, and 4) doubling the level of support for physical activity at 639 work-sites affecting 218,705 employees. During this time period, the HHP local contractors leveraged over $1.6 million in cash and grants from other sources and $2.2 million in in-kind donations.

Tuberculosis – Tuberculosis Disease Program

PHHS Block Grant funds are used to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis in New York State. The 2004 statewide incidence was 7.2 cases/100,000 population, an 8% decrease from 2003. The case incidence in New York State exclusive of New York City was 3.0 cases/100,000 population, a 7% decrease from the year before. Block grant funds have provided essential laboratory support statewide, to ensure rapid identification of TB, determination of drug resistance, and DNA typing to uncover linkages between cases; and program support for reporting and case management.

Environmental Health Problems - Healthy Neighborhood Program

PHHS Block Grant funds are used to target environmentally related health problems such as asthma hospitalizations, childhood lead poisoning, home carbon monoxide poisoning, and other environmental risk factors in high-risk neighborhoods through the use of outreach workers who survey and intervene in each community. In 2004, 5,777 homes were assessed; 434 were found to have lead hazards, 142 had elevated carbon monoxide levels, 2,144 had inadequate smoke detection devices, and 1,266 had asthmatics in residence. All hazards identified were addressed.

Blood Lead – Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

PHHS Block Grant funds are used to reduce the prevalence rate of children between 1 and 5 years with high blood lead levels through improvements in investigation and correction of contaminated dwellings. In 2004, there were 2,256 investigations performed with 1,437 of them containing lead hazards. All hazards identified were required to be corrected.

Contact Information

Adela Salame-Alfie, Ph.D, PHHS Block Grant Coordinator
Phone: 518-402-7510
Email: asa01@health.state.ny.us