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Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant

Role of PHHS Block Grant Funding

In 1981, Congress authorized the Preventive Health and Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant. The PHHS Block Grant gives its 61 grantees—which include the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 2 American Indian tribes, and 8 U.S. territories—the autonomy and flexibility to tailor prevention and health promotion programs to their particular public health needs. States are expected to align their programs with Healthy People 2020 national health goals.
As a critical public health resource, the PHHS Block Grant supports the following activities:

  • Addresses basic health issues such as fluoridating water supplies, improving food safety, and preventing falls among older adults.
  • Responds rapidly to emerging health threats in states.
  • Funds critical prevention efforts to address specific health issues, such as skin cancer, child safety, and untreated dental decay, that lack categorical state funding.
  • Protects investments in and enhances the effectiveness of categorically funded programs that address specific health problems.
  • Leverages other resources of money for greater preventive health impact.

The health needs of communities are diverse, complex, and constantly changing. The PHHS Block Grant gives its grantees the flexibility to target funds to prevent and control chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis and helps them to respond quickly to outbreaks of foodborne infections and waterborne diseases. The PHHS Block Grant provides funding to grantees that can be tailored to address their particular public health needs and challenges.
The PHHS Block Grant is the major source of funding that CDC provides to public health agencies to address health needs and problems such as immunization, tuberculosis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The PHHS Block Grant is a significant source of funding for health promotion and disease and injury prevention in communities across the nation. However, grantees do not have adequate funding to combat all the leading causes of illness, disability, injury, and death in their states.
PHHS Block Grant funds also have provided start-up money for programs that are now supported by other sources. As these programs have become self-sustaining, PHHS Block Grant funds have been redirected to other public health priorities.

For more information about the PHHS Block Grant, visit the CDC’s website at:

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Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grant - Advisory Committee - Meeting Minutes

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