July 16, 2014
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) applauds the state of New Jersey for prioritizing health and wellness and providing funds to make an impact in chronic disease prevention. On July 1, Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd announced that the New Jersey Department of Health has awarded $612,000 in grants to community based agencies to improve treatment and empower patients to better manage diabetes and high blood pressure.
Taking steps to prevent and better manage chronic disease is critical to lowering healthcare costs and increasing productivity, two major imperatives for economic vitality. Promoting wellness efforts now is a proactive move by the Christie administration that could have measurable impact on the state’s budget in years to come, and an initiative that other states should also consider. More specifically, the funds will go towards the creation of a health information system to better manage patients with diabetes and high blood pressure and towards efforts to identify at risk populations and better educate diabetes patients on lifestyle changes and self-management.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation 61.6 percent of adults in New Jersey are overweight or obese. With weight so closely related to diabetes and blood pressure, prevention measures targeting these two most prevalent chronic conditions could especially help New Jerseyans struggling with multiple chronic conditions.