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    Division for Regional and Local Health Operations

    1100 West 49th Street, Room M149, MC 1908
    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: (512) 776-7770
    Fax: (512) 776-7590

Public Health Improvement - Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG)


The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG), created in 1981, allocate funds to every state for their use toward any objective outlined in the nation’s public health blueprint titled Healthy People 2020. The grant allows the state to address some of the high priority public health issues as determined by mortality, morbidity, and economic cost data for the state. The program areas funded annually submits a plan stating the public health issue that will be addressed, provide a description of the strategy used to address the public health concern, identify the target population and how the program addresses the targeted population needs, and identify the national and state health status outcome objectives each program will work towards achieving as reflected in Healthy People 2020. Each program outlines activities that support one or more of the ten essential public health services recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maintaining support for this grant is critical in allowing Texas to focus funds on prevention measures that yield clear benefits in terms of quality of life and savings.

The PHHSBG was funded nationally at $143 million in FY 2015. Texas’ share was $6.1 million of which $562,234 is a mandatory “set-aside” for sexual assault prevention and crisis services that are administered by the Office of the Attorney General.


Local Health Departments (LHDs) utilize funds to provide self-identified gaps in essential public health services. Using CDC’s definition of essential public health services as a framework, local health departments (LHD) assess which critical areas of their infrastructure in which to apply these funds. In all cases, services outlined in LHD work plans would not exist in these communities if it were not for the provision of the PHHSBG. The majority of the services include: education and outreach to the community regarding disease prevention and other priority health concerns; surveillance and monitoring of the community’s health status through disease reporting and investigation; mobilizing community resources to develop plans around health issues in their jurisdiction; reviewing local policies to assure that standards are maintained in the provision of health services; and monitoring the public health workforce to ensure federal or state licensure and certification standards are met. LHDs funded through this grant will be required to identify national, state or local standards to be used to evaluate the activities provided. Based on quarterly reporting measures, LHDs are required to identify barriers to the provision of services and develop improvement plans that may include new or alternative strategies in order to effectively provide the service(s) outlined in their work plans.

Sexual Assault Prevention & Crisis Services: The Office of the Attorney General funds local sexual assault programs and statewide programs to implement strategies and activities that support the primary prevention of sexual assault and/or sexual violence using any of the following approved activities: educational seminars, training programs for professionals, preparation of information materials, training programs for students and campus personnel designed to reduce the incidence of sexual assault at colleges and universities, education to increase the awareness about drugs used to facilitate rapes or sexual assault, and other efforts to increase awareness of the facts about or to help prevent sexual assault, including efforts to increase awareness in underserved communities and awareness among individuals with disabilities as defined in Section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Community and Clinical Preventive Services will continue and expand priority activities developed to reduce the impact of chronic diseases on the State of Texas, focusing on clinical and community systems-level enhancements to improve quality of care and health outcomes. Through contracts with three external partners (Texas Association of Community Health Centers, TMF Health Quality Institute, and the University of Texas at Austin Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team), funds will support a coordinated statewide approach to enhance preventive services throughout the state. Program strategies include clinical quality improvement activities such as promoting standardized clinical quality measures and tobacco cessation support within clinical systems; coordinated care team development; enhanced training of community health workforce; and strengthening of clinical-community linkages. These efforts align with goals to improve the quality of care to improve health outcomes, lower health care costs, and improve population health.

The Texas Healthy Communities Program will continue and expand activities which encourage and enable Texas communities to implement evidence based practices to make policy and environmental improvements that reduce the burden of chronic diseases. Eighteen contracts with local health departments will support 20 communities to complete a needs and assets assessment and to implement evidence-based practices in identified areas of need, which may include the following priority areas: accessible health food options, physical activity areas and opportunities, breastfeeding-friendly worksites, school health programs, worksite wellness programs, comprehensive tobacco control, cardiac and stroke response, and/or promotion of primary and secondary prevention of CVD and stroke in healthcare systems.

Last updated July 3, 2015