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DeKalb County Board of Health Receives HHS Award of $2.66 million to Address Obesity

DECATUR, GA– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $31 million for awards through the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to ten communities in eight states and one award to a state health department to support public health efforts to reduce obesity and smoking.

DeKalb County Board of Health, an independent local board of health, received $2.66 million to fund a 24-month project to create policies, systems, and environments that improve physical activity and nutrition, and reduce the risk factors that contribute to childhood and adult obesity.  DeKalb was chosen because of its history of success using evidence-based strategies to eliminate obesity and reduce tobacco use in the county.

“As I’ve seen throughout the year in my work with Let’s Move!, prevention works when it comes to improving the health of our families,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “These critical investments will help more communities across America tackle serious health challenges like childhood obesity, while promoting physical activity and healthy eating.”

The DeKalb County Board of Health, the only funded health department in the state of Georgia, received $3.2 million in March for tobacco control, expanded tobacco quit lines, and cessation media campaigns through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

and $2.66 million from the Affordable Care Act to reduce obesity through the promotion of physical activity and good nutrition throughout the county.

These funds will help the Board of Health to design, implement and evaluate evidence-based intervention models which in the long-term help to reduce chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and strokes caused by risk factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating habits and lack of regular check-ups.

“The DeKalb County Board of Health has a long prevention history working with a variety of community partners,  such as the DeKalb County School System, faith-based groups and health advocates to address health problems such as obesity, improving physical activity and promoting good nutrition,” said Les Richmond, M.D., M.B.A., division director of Community Health and Prevention Services at the DeKalb County Board of Health.

It has been the:

  • First local board of health in the state of Georgia to help pass a smoke-free ordinance in the county.
  • First to secure a $5 million in CDC funding to implement a five year program

Called, “Steps To A Healthy DeKalb’ which promoted physical activity and improved nutrition for residents in South DeKalb.

  • First to collect, analyze and publish health data through its Status of Health in DeKalb reports, and
  • First in the state to work in collaboration with the CDC to implement the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, as well as the Behavioral Risk Factor

Surveillance System reports.  These surveys collect information related to health risk behaviors, health conditions and the use of health care services.

The two grants will be programmatically administered by the health department’s Health Assessment and Promotion program.

“We anticipate that these two awards will significantly move us towards working with local partners to create long-term plans that will help to create a healthier community,” said Christopher Holliday, Ph.D., M.P.H., department manager of Health Assessment and Promotion at the DeKalb County Board of Health.

For more information about the, CPPW Part A award, please visit:

To view the fact sheet on Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit and