Public Health and Health Services Block Grant

BISMARCK, N.D. - Breastfeeding education for hospitals is among some of the many things the state's health department aims to use for its latest Public Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

Photo courtesy MGN Online Image Id: 353462 11/22/2016

Other things the more than $390,000 dollar grant will be used for is to support for the Main Street Initiative, work site wellness, and the Healthy Communities Grant Program.

The Department of Health held a public hearing to find out if people agree with how the department aims to use the grant.

The block grant will be used to help different aspects of North Dakota and one is to decrease food insecurity.

"This grant helps North Dakota reduce inequities in health. Where some people, just by nature of where they live, or their neighborhood, their community, don't have as much access to the things that they need to keep healthy," said Karen Ehrens, health and nutrition consultant.

Ehrens says she benefits from the grant, like many other people.

The Department of Health says it’s to support state health priorities, gaps in public health services and to respond to emerging issues.

"This money is important to help us, like I mentioned, build capacity. But it's also an opportunity for us to better fund our strategic state health priorities," said Kelly Nagel, Director of Public Health Systems and Performance for North Dakota Department of Health.

They say maintaining a grant like this is important when the state budget is in severe stress.

The plan of what the money will be used for will be submitted to the CDC for approval on Monday.