McLean County Health Department Director Walt Howe introduced the "We Choose Health" program Thursday at the Uptown Station. (Photo By Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
NORMAL - The McLean County Health Department is awarding grants to local agencies aimed at reducing obesity and preventing tobacco use.
Officials kicked off the "We Choose Health" initiative at the Uptown Station Thursday morning.
The department was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health to administer the program.
Walt Howe, health department director, said community organizations will be able to apply for a share of $96,000 to use for initiatives to improve Coordinated School Health, Worksite Wellness, Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing and Smoke-Free Public Places.
"This is the perfect opportunity for us to work with partners to get some resources in their hands, so they can do some things locally and they can develop some things that can be implemented and carried out in their organizations for a long period of time," he said.
The application deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Howe said the grant is for one year but there could be more money coming, depending on the initiative's success.
"Prevention is the number one initiative in maintaining health," Howe said. "As long as we can keep people healthy, we don't have to make them well. So that's our key and that's our number one issue."
Applications are available on the Health Department's website.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.