HRSA has awarded $5 million to the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) in Boston to create and manage a new Prevention Center for Healthy Weight to address obesity in children and families.
The Center, supported by the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act, will be administered by HRSA.
The Center will launch the Healthy Weight Collaborative to share evidence-based and promising community-based and clinical interventions in preventing and treating obesity. Collaborative teams will be recruited to help states and local communities develop practical approaches that link public health and primary care. The Center will oversee and provide technical assistance to the team which, at a minimum, will represent health departments, community-based organizations, HHS and HRSA grantees, and other related entities.
Founded in 1999, NICHQ’s mission is to improve children’s health by improving the systems responsible for the delivery of their care. NICHQ’s current initiatives focus on ensuring that every child receives care in a high-performing medical home, including (1) the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity; (2) improving care systems for children with special healthcare needs; and (3) improving perinatal care.
NICHQ’s approach aims to impact the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity through public health and primary care systems. This is reflected by their strong partnerships that include:
“The Prevention Center for Healthy Weight will play a key role in identifying collaborative strategies for addressing and reducing obesity – an alarming and growing public health problem,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
More than $78 billion in health care costs is spent each year to treat obesity and overweight related health issues – almost $1 of every $10 spent on health care in the United States. Half of that expense is covered by U.S. taxpayers in the form of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cooperative agreement is funded in FY 2010 for a project period through March 31, 2012.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.