Gilroy, Morgan Hill to benefit from county’s $1M public health grant

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department and its community partners will focus on improving the health of some of the county’s small communities, thanks to a  new federal grant of $1,027,931.
The Centers for Disease Control Community Transformation Grant allows the Public Health Department and community partners to make vast improvements in the lives of residents in south Santa Clara County through a special project called South County: United for Health.
The target area focuses on more than 93,000 residents in Gilroy and Morgan Hill and parts of San Martin. The grant emphasizes implementing long-lasting solutions to address health disparities and improve health outcomes among low-income and Latino residents.
In Santa Clara County, about 68 percent of adults who are Latino or Hispanic are overweight (44 percent) or obese (24 percent). And, 11 percent of adults who have been told they have diabetes are Latino or Hispanic, according to the SCC Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
“The launch of South County: United for Health will directly benefit the South County residents I represent,” said District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman. “The $1,000,000 CDC grant will significantly augment our ongoing efforts to address health challenges such as poor nutrition, smoking and lack of exercise.”
Some of the partners include:
• SCC Communities Putting Prevention to Work – Obesity Prevention Program partnered with the downtown Gilroy farmers’ market for an annual celebration of Food Day, which includes an informational table with food assistance information, educational materials and healthy cooking ideas.
• Morgan Hill’s City Council adopted an outdoor smoke-free policy covering outdoor dining, entryways, public recreation areas, service lines and public events.
• For the first time, parents in the Gilroy Unified School District were encouraged to participate in the Gilroy Run for Fitness Program. After-school programs continue to enroll and train students for participation.
The grant work has already started and will continue through September 2014.