Washington, DC – This week, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) lauded Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith for an apparent turn-around to support the city of Milwaukee’s application for Federal grant funding to help fight and prevent chronic diseases.
Last month, Secretary Smith said that he would not write a letter of support for the city’s application for Community Transformation Grants. Such a letter is needed for the application to be considered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If Milwaukee is awarded a grant, the state has no administrative or financial obligation.
Congresswoman Moore said, “There is federal funding out there that can improve the health of our people. It made zero sense to deny us the chance at this funding, and I’m glad Secretary Smith has changed his position. His reversal means that Milwaukee can at least throw its hat in the ring.”
When Moore first learned that the city’s application would be denied without a letter of support from the state, she wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and asked her to consider applications from Wisconsin without state support. And just this week, she wrote to Governor Walker and urged him to reconsider this decision and support Milwaukee’s grant application.
Now, with a letter of support, the city will apply for as much as $4.8 million over five years to fight obesity and reduce deaths from heart attack and stroke.