CDC Grant to Support Health through NH-Based Programs

CDC Grant to Support Health through NH-Based Programs

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A new project from the UNH Institute on Disability (IOD) will address health disparities for individuals with disabilities in New Hampshire. The project, entitled “New Hampshire Disability and Public Health,” is funded by a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Data collected by the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the American Community Survey indicate that New Hampshire residents with disabilities experience greater health risks (such as higher rates of smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity), lower rates of health screenings (such as mammography), and more common self-reports of poor health than the general population. Health disparities like these compromise the quality of life for people with disabilities and result in a significant proportion of the state’s total health care expenditures.

In collaboration with the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, the NH Disability and Public Health project aims to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, improve emergency preparedness, and increase the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

Project staff will conduct a statewide needs assessment of disability and health and will use the findings to target project activities. Examples of project activities include providing accessibility assessments and recommendations to primary and preventive health care facilities; training health care providers in disability awareness and sensitivity; disseminating emergency preparedness kits and plans for persons with disabilities and their families; and working to make specific health promotion initiatives, such as tobacco prevention, obesity prevention, and breast cancer screening awareness, more inclusive of individuals with disabilities.

The project will serve as a clearinghouse for disability and health-related information and will make a wealth of information available through a dedicated website.

”We are excited to bring these CDC funds to the Granite State,” said IOD Director Charles Drum. “Our partnership with the NH Division of Public Health Services offers a unique opportunity to infuse disability components and perspectives into existing statewide public health initiatives.”

”This is important work that will help us better understand and respond to the needs of people with disabilities,” said Public Health Director Jose Montero. “We're excited to work with the Institute on Disability to improve the accessibility of public health programming and health care services.”

In addition to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health services, several state agencies and organizations will be involved as program partners, including the NH Leadership in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH LEND) Program, the Institute for Health, Law, and Ethics at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, NH Family Voices, the Disabilities Rights Center, the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, Granite State Independent Living, and the NH Parent Information Center.

For more information about the NH Disability and Public Health project, visit www.iod.unh.edu/projects/dph.