FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                    CONTACT: Liz Voyles

February 2, 2017                                                                                                                                                 202.297.9641,  liz@brassrc.com

                                                                                                             

World Cancer Day, Wear Red Day Even More Vital This Year with Planned Repeal of ACA  

Urban Public Health Data Reveal State of Heart Disease, Cancer Deaths in Some of America’s Largest Cities  

Washington, D.C. – Data released today by the Big Cities Health Coalition show that the rates of heart disease and cancer vary widely across American cities. These data are being released by the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), an independent project of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), to mark Wear Red for Heart Disease Day (February 3) and World Cancer Day (February 4).

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Chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease lead to 70% of all deaths in this country. National rates of both diseases are falling, but a crucial funding stream that was designed to help prevent these diseases, called the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), is at risk of being eliminated by the likely repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The PPHF was set up to provide funds to communities for prevention activities that take place “outside the four walls of the clinic.” If the PPHF is eliminated, critical public health funding would by cut by almost $1 billion per year over the next five years.

“Chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer are leading causes of preventable death in this country, accounting for almost 90 percent of our health care costs each year. Preventing these diseases from occurring in the first place is essential to both reining in health care costs and creating a healthier, economically thriving nation,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “Right now, Congress, in partnership with the new administration, is poised to do just the opposite by making severe cuts to chronic disease prevention programs. I look forward to working with our elected officials on replacing these dollars and ensuring we keep up the fight to prevent heart disease and cancer in America’s cities.”

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The data set is the first of its kind to provide a broad, comparable view of health indicators in 28 cities. It includes more than 17,000 data points across more than 50 health and socio-demographic indicators that encompass eleven broad categories of public health importance: behavioral health and substance abuse; cancer; chronic disease; environmental health; food safety; HIV/AIDs; infectious disease; injury and violence; and maternal and child health; as well as demographics and life expectancy and overall death rate. To access the entire data set, please visit: http://www.bigcitieshealth.org/city-data/. 

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 5 million people, or one in six Americans.