New Illinois health grants offer communities healthier lifestyle - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

New Illinois health grants offer communities healthier lifestyles

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

With the grant of nearly $3.5 million, the Illinois Department of Health is offering 60 communities a chance at healthier lifestyles. The We Choose Health grants aim at reducing heart disease, as well as lowering obesity.

Ranging from schools to hospitals, the funding will make healthy foods more available, as well as lessen the amount of smoking and second-hand smoke.

"Diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are leading causes of death, disability and rising health care costs in our state and nationwide," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck. But this is not something the health department, community organizations, government or the health care industry can tackle on their own."

We Choose Health understands this and is committed to a lifetime of health. That's why they're using the grants they received to start programs involving healthy eating, active living, and smoke-free living. Several of the programs include healthier school models, baby friendly hospitals, cleaner air outdoors and indoors, and safer ways to get to school for kids.

Winnebago County is included in this list of healthy counties, and will receive $296,472 going toward healthy living and programs. For more information, you can visit www.wechoosehealth.illinois.gov

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