The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Iowa is one of 18 states selected to receive the Improving the Health of People with Disabilities Through State-Based Public Health Programs grant. IDPH will work in partnership with local public health agencies and the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development to reduce health disparities among disabled Iowans.
About 38 percent of people with disabilities rank their health as fair-to-poor compared to six percent of those without disabilities. "The purpose of the grant is to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life among Iowans with disabilities," said IDPH program director Lonnie Cleland. "We will partner with local public health to assess the barriers and improve access to health-promotion programming for people with disabilities." Access to spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities will also be targeted.
Emergency preparedness is another focus area of the grant. "Assessments will be made of emergency responders and planners to adequately address the needs of people with disabilities in emergency planning, and we will be providing training and technical assistance in improving their planning, response and recovery capabilities," said Karin Ford, IDPH Disability Consultant. The grant will also promote personal emergency preparedness planning for individuals and family caregivers of those with disabilities.
For more information about IDPH's Disability and Health program, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/bh/disability_health.asp. For more information on the CDC grant, visit www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/programs.html.