From left to right above: Stacy Houston, Congressman Lacy Clay’s office; Judy Baker, US DHHS; Charley Dooley; Margaret Donnelly, Director, Missouri DHHS; Dr. Dolores Gunn, Director, County DOH; St. Louis County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser (partially hidden); Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein; Ann Hynes, Head of the County Health Education Program, DOH; and Bob Burns, Field Representative, US Senator Claire McCaskill.
I was present at a well-attended announcement by St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley of a CDC grant to promote tobacco prevention and cessation efforts in the county. It was expected to give a substantial boost to current efforts, and will result in additional staff hiring. It is understood that the county health department will work closely with the group at Washington University Institute for Public Health, led by Doug Luke, PhD. The major efforts to promote smoke-free air last year in St. Louis City and County may have helped in securing this grant money, which is part of the stimulus initiative enacted by the Congress early last year.
The above is my preliminary understanding of this effort and will be amended if contrary details prove it needs amending.
I’m proud of the fact that in his remarks Charlie Dooley mentioned the efforts of MoGASP in this area, as well as those of others. We are glad and grateful to have been a part of it. Below are some photos taken at the event, which started at 1:30 pm in the Conference Room on the ninth floor. I snapped some additional photos after the formal presentation, and one was also taken of Mr. Dooley who was good enough to pose with me for a photo. They are appended after the press release.
Saint Louis County Receives $7.5 Million Grant for Tobacco Education and Cessation Efforts
SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MO – (March 19th, 2010) Saint Louis County has been awarded more than $7.5 million for tobacco education and cessation efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant funds will be spent locally over the next two years.
“We are very excited about this award and look forward to the positive benefits it will have on the lives of Saint Louis County residents,” said County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. “We are also very proud of our County Health Department for applying for and securing these funds for Saint Louis County.”
The tobacco education and cessation grant awarded to Saint Louis County is for $7,593,110. Earlier today, 44 Prevention and Wellness Grants were announced by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, altogether totaling $372.8 million.
The funds will be spent locally to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco use, to educate the general population about the dangers of secondhand smoke, and to assist smokers who want to quit the habit.
Added Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, “We have long known that tobacco is public health enemy number one. This grant will go a long way in helping us fight the problems associated with tobacco use on a local level.”
Spending specifics will not be available for about a month. The Saint Louis County Department of Health will be working with the CDC over the next 30 days to create a detailed budget for the entire grant award.
The County Health Department will work with a variety of community partners over the next two years to achieve the grant’s goals. Among others, these partners will include Washington University’s Center for Tobacco Policy Research, the St. Louis University School of Public Health, and Tobacco Free Missouri – Greater St. Louis Coalition.
In addition, the department will work with local schools, businesses, and other private organizations to educate people about tobacco issues. There will also be a media element to the grant-funded program that will dovetail into the national anti-tobacco “Truth Campaign.”
This funding opportunity is a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is being provided jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), and the Division of Adult and Community Health (DACH).
For additional information about the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative and grants, visit http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery/community.htm.
For more information about the Saint Louis County Department of Health, visit http://www.stlouisoc.com/doh.