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L.A. County awarded $32 million to fight chronic diseases

March 19, 2010 |  1:03 pm

Los Angeles County has received a $32-million grant from the federal government to pay for projects that tackle chronic diseases, health officials said Friday.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is part of an initiative called Communities Putting Prevention to Work. The two-year grant will be used to address obesity, physical activity, nutrition, tobacco use and other health issues, officials said.

Friday’s announcement at the Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles was made in conjunction with a national event hosted in Washington by First Lady Michelle Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

L.A. County was among 44 communities that received awards, although more than 400 nationwide applied, officials said. The money will be used to positively affect citizens’ access to safe places to exercise, their ability to purchase nutritional foods and their right to smoke-free environments, officials said.

"This funding gives our public health department an exciting new opportunity to improve the health and quality of life of Los Angeles County residents," County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a statement.

-- Ann M. Simmons