The original legislation for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) was effective October 1, 1981. This block grant consolidated seven formerly categorical programs into one grant—314d health incentive, urban rodent control, hypertension, home health agencies, emergency medical services, fluoridation, and health education and risk reduction. The legislation’s goal was to provide states with more flexibility and control to address their priority health needs. The Governor of Texas designated the Texas Department of Health, now the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), as the agency responsible in the state for administering the block grant. The Preventive Health Amendments of 1992 allowed states to greatly extend their PHHSBG funding to support any of the activities consistent with making progress toward achieving the health objectives identified in Healthy People 2000 (and subsequently Healthy People 2010).
Local Health Department Infrastructure
Local Health Departments (LHDs) utilize funds to improve or strengthen local public health infrastructure by evaluating the effectiveness of providing essential public health services. The majority of services provided by LHDs include education and outreach to the community regarding prevention of disease and other priority public health concerns; surveillance and monitoring of the community’s health through disease reporting and investigation; mobilization of community groups to develop plans for addressing the community’s public health concerns; and development of local policies to safeguard and protect the community’s health and safety.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
As the only source for comprehensive statewide data on preventive health practices and health risk behaviors among adult Texans, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an important decision-making tool. Public and private health authorities at the federal, state, and local level rely on BRFSS to identify public health problems, design policy and interventions, set goals, and measure progress toward those goals. BRFSS also provides a mechanism through which local health authorities and agency programs can identify and study emerging health issues. This activity operates as part of a federal/state partnership that results in the collection of uniform public health data for all 50 states and four territories of the U.S.
The Texas EMA/Trauma Registry system is designed to identify major or severe trauma patients within each health care entity in Texas, identify the total amount of uncompensated trauma care expenditures made each fiscal year by each health care entity in the state, and monitor trauma patient care within each health care entity and regional emergency medical services/trauma system in Texas. Specific activities supported by these funds include the collection of population-based data from approximately 585 hospitals and 817 pre-hospital providers in the state; reviewing and improving the quality of data that is being electronically reported through statewide training efforts; analyzing data; and producing reports for dissemination.
PHHSBG funds are used to collect County Health Profile data on 15 selected Texas/Mexico border counties. The County Health Profile data target the Texas/Mexico border counties of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr, Webb, Zapata, Maverick, Val Verde, Terrell, Brewster, Presidio, Jeff Davis, Culberson, Hudspeth, Pecos and El Paso. The data monitor the 25 Healthy Border 2010 objectives, and funds are also used to provide information and education sessions in ten Texas border counties that do not have local health departments.
Regional Health Department Infrastructure
Eight health service regions use funds to strengthen their public health infrastructure in counties not served by a local health department. Each region is charged with increasing the availability and dissemination of local public health data for select populations at the local level; increasing the number of municipalities/counties using public health performance standards to assess and monitor public health performance; developing public health leadership at the local level (i.e.: local health authority, local board of health, local advisory council, local health department); increasing the proportion of municipalities and counties that draft, implement, and evaluate health improvement plans; and providing public health services to safeguard the health of the population.
Rape Prevention Set-Aside
Rape prevention activities include the provision of 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.
  A rape prevention set-aside was later added to the original consolidation of these seven categorical grants