The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Department of Health and Human Services has announced more than $5 million in cooperative agreement awards to help communities address childhood obesity, the opioid epidemic and serious mental illness.
The awards, made through the OMH Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative, were given to 15 organizations across the country, according to an OMH press release. Those organizations include the Mariposa Community Health Center Inc.; California State University Long Beach Research Foundation; The Morehouse School of Medicine Inc.; The University of Chicago; The Community Clinic Inc.; Boston Medical Center Corp.; Regents of the University of Michigan; the Mississippi State Department of Health; The Institute for Family Health; Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County; Meharry Medical College; The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Virginia Department of Health; city of Huntington, Virginia; and Marquette University.
The Empowered Communities Initiative helps to fund communities struggling with the nation's most growing public health challenges such as the opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths involving opioid overdose in the U.S. have quadrupled since 1999, the release said.
Also according to the CDC, obesity affects nearly 12.7 million children in the U.S. Serious mental illness is also a health issue the Empowered Communities Initiative sees as a priority to fund, as there are nearly 10 million adults in the U.S. suffering from such illness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.