Specter and Casey Announce $25 million in Stimulus Funds for Philadelphia Health and Wellness Programs

Funding will help community tackle obesity and establish smoking-cessation programs

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded the Philadelphia Department of Public Health over $25 million in funding to support their efforts to reduce obesity and decrease smoking, two of the leading preventable causes of death.  The prevention and wellness funding is contained in the Recovery Act of 2009.

“Health is our nation’s greatest asset and community efforts to combat chronic diseases and promote health represent an important investment in our future,” Specter said.  “We should devote resources to creating healthy environments and educating the public to make healthy choices which will ultimately improve our quality of life and decrease the strain on our health care system.”

“I am pleased to see that Recovery Act funds are being used to help reduce obesity and decrease smoking in Philadelphia,” said Senator Casey. “By investing in programs that promote healthy lifestyles, we can ensure that Pennsylvanians live long, healthy lives.” 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will receive $15,018,277 in funding for a program to address obesity through a variety of methods, including increasing the availability of healthy foods and beverages and encouraging physical activity.  The Department will receive another $10,356,927 for efforts to discourage tobacco use and encourage smoke-free environments.  

Today’s funding for Philadelphia is part of a larger announcement by First Lady Michelle Obama and HHS of more than $372 million to 44 communities across the nation to support similar public health efforts.  

"Significant public health investments in local communities will build a healthier America,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  "This unprecedented level of commitment to prevention will impact more than 50 million people who live in the communities receiving these awards.”

For more information, please visit http://hhs.gov/recovery/