Several local school districts and community partners will benefit from and participate in programs initiated by grants  

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney joined officials from Nemours at the Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington to announce two federal grants with a combined total of nearly $6 million toward helping build healthier communities.  

Nemours received a five year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control to support healthy lifestyles for young children in child care under the Taking Steps to Healthy Success: Early Care and Education Learning Collaboration program. During the first year of funding, the initiative will receive $4.2 million to help early care and education providers adopt nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity and screen time policies and practices.  This funding is made available through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. Over the course of this five year funding period, Nemours will focus work in six states with the goal of reaching 84,500 children.  In Delaware, programming focusing on promoting healthy early care and education environments is already underway through private funding by Nemours.  The initiatives in the six additional states will be based on the Delaware model.

Nemours was also awarded a two-year grant of nearly $1.7 million through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Transformation Grants Small Communities Program to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending.  In Delaware, approximately 179,500 people will be served by the grant.  

Community partners and seven school districts serving communities with the state’s highest populations of children living in poverty have been identified to develop wellness policies and community infrastructure to support healthy lifestyles.  Those districts and partners include: Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition; Christina, Colonial, Red Clay, Capital, Woodbridge, Indian River and Seaford School Districts; American Lung Association-Delaware Region; Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families; Delaware State University Center for Health Promotion; University of Delaware College of Health Sciences; and University of Delaware Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies.  By focusing on where people live, work, learn and play, the Community Transformation Grant program is expected to improve the health of more than four out of 10 U.S. citizens—about 130 million Americans.   

“The key to getting better results and lowering costs in our health care system is better coordination of care and increasing our investment in prevention to avoid illness and injury whenever possible,” said Senator Tom Carper. “With the help of these grants, Nemours can implement these innovative programs to help prevent children from getting sick in the first place. That’s a win-win for the health of their patients and the health of our economy.”

“Investing in collaborative, preventative programs saves lives and keeps our kids and our community healthier,” Senator Chris Coons said.  “Building healthy communities takes hard work and collaboration, but it also takes resources.  It’s terrific news that Nemours received these grants in support of its efforts to improve the lives of so many in Delaware and the region.”

“A focus on prevention is critical to reducing the nation’s healthcare costs, and allowing individuals to live longer, more productive lives,” said Congressman Carney.  “The best way to achieve that goal is by teaching young people healthy habits that will stick with them as they grow older.  Nemours is the standard-bearer in Delaware and across the nation for reaching children at an early age and teaching them important lessons about nutrition and physical activity.  I’m excited that the funding announced today will support and enhance their efforts.”

“Reaching kids early is the key to combating childhood obesity,” said Debbie Chang, Vice President of Policy & Prevention at Nemours.  “Providing early care and education providers with the tools they need to help families develop healthy habits will go a long way toward ensuring the long term health and wellness of children.”

Nemours is an internationally recognized children’s health system that owns and operates the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, along with major pediatric specialty clinics in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy of Alfred I. du Pont, Nemours offers pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.