Prevention Block Grant

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The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) was created by Congress under Public Law 9735, Title XIX, Block Grants, in August 1981, aimed at moving authority and responsibility for public health to states, thereby saving money on administrative costs. The original amount of available funds equaled about 75 percent of what states had been receiving for the seven categorical programs that were folded into this block grant. The funding formula was based upon what each state received from the categorical programs in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1981 and their respective total population.

The PHHSBG has had a history of variable funding levels. In FFY 2000, the funding level for the core portion of the block grant was $135 million, down from $150 million in FFY 1999. Special categorical funds for rape prevention education were added to the core block grant in FFY 1996, approximately $35 million that year. States have good flexibility on what they may use core PHHSBG funds for, and no flexibility on the use of the rape prevention education funds. The core funds must be used to address the Healthy People 2010 national health objectives for the nation that are identified by the states as priorities in their specific state. States have used core funds to provide major support for chronic disease and injury programs and emergency medical services for rural areas. Funds have also been used to support laboratory services and infectious disease prevention. Success has been seen in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease, investigations into outbreaks of disease caused by E. coli bacteria, and in the development of new injury prevention programs.

Frank S. Bright

(see also: Block Grants for Public Health; Prevention )


Public Law 9735, August 13, 1981, Title XIX: Health Services and Facilities, Subtitle A-Block Grants, 95 Stat, 535542.