Boston Public Health Commission Awarded $8.4 Million

The new grants will support a plethora of health initiatives.

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced Thursday that it has received $8.4 million in two awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and from the CDC. The money will help fund a variety of health initiatives around the city, focusing mainly on obesity, tobacco, and chronic illness efforts.

“I want to commend the Commission and our neighborhood partners for receiving these competitive awards that will help improve the health of all Bostonians,” said Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement. “I am very grateful that the federal government recognized the groundbreaking work of the BPHC and community health groups to respond not only to the symptoms of poor health, but also to address the root causes of public health problems in our city.”

The BPHC notes that the obesity and diabetes rates for Black and Latino adults in Boston are almost double that of Caucasian adults in the city. Black adults in Boston also have increased rates of high blood pressure. In addition, smoking rates amongst residents of public and subsidized housing in the city are double compared to those of other residents. These numbers are staggering, and it’s clear that improvement is needed.

According to the BPHC, the funding includes:

● $5.4 million over 3 years to support the Partnerships to Improve Community Health, a citywide initiative that will promote voluntary policy and systems changes by organizations to support healthy choices in physical activity, nutrition and smoke free housing.

● Nearly $3 million over 3 years to fund Boston REACH: Partners in Health and Housing, an initiative focused on improving the health of Boston residents in public and subsidized housing.

“This new funding will allow the Commission and our partners to go beyond focusing on individual behavior and education. It will enable us to strengthen systems, communities and organizations that can help make the healthy choice the easy choice for our residents,” said BPHC Executive Director, Barbara Ferrer. “The awards will also allow us to continue the important work of promoting and protecting the health of all residents, particularly those who bear disproportionate health burdens because of poverty, racial and ethnic inequities.”