Saving Lives, Saving Money

Public Health Prevention Pilots Reap Life and Cost Savings

Lincoln, Nebraska—–Nebraskans could see dramatically improved life spans and significant health care cost containment if policy makers listen to the results of Prevention Pilot Projects recently completed by the Public Health Districts in Nebraska. “Public Health Prevention Funding Report 2014” captures nineteen different public health prevention programs funded with $50,000 onetime funding appropriated by the Nebraska Legislature to Nebraska’s Local Public Health Departments.

“Each Prevention Project was determined by the unique community needs identified by each Local Public Health Department which is part of their mission. With 86% of health care spending going to chronic diseases these strategies to decrease chronic diseases demonstrate how embracing health care rather than ‘sick care’ Nebraska can improve lives and save money,” said Adi Pour Director Douglas County Health Department.

Prevention efforts funded in these pilot projects focused on local programs to decrease obesity prevent complications from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. The projects increased access to medical and dental homes, worksite wellness services…all with the intent to prevent disease and disability and to assure health preventive services for children and adults.

“National data shows that for each additional dollar of public health spending that is used for prevention $5.60 is saved on total healthcare expenditures. Within these prevention projects the stage is set for cost savings and in many we see in ‘real time’ the medical cost offset that occurs,” stated South Heartland District Health Department Director Michele Bever.

The Panhandle Public Health Department’s pilot prevention program that enhanced the Panhandle Worksite Wellness Council was recognized by the US Office of the Surgeon General as an exemplary program in the Annual Status Report of the National Prevention Council. Kim Engel, Panhandle Public Health Director stated “the Panhandle Worksite Wellness Council works with 40 panhandle businesses which reach one of every five employed people in the Panhandle region”.

The full Public Health Pilot Prevention 2014 Report is attached.

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You may also contact me for additional information.

Michele M. Bever, PhD, MPH
Executive Director

South Heartland District Health Department
606 N. Minnesota Ave, Suite 2
Hastings, NE 68901
Office 402-462-6211 | Toll Free 1-877-238-7595
Fax 402-462-6219
e-mail: michele.bever@shdhd.org
Website: www.southheartlandhealth.org

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