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Office of Governor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol + 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard + Saint Paul, MN 55155
The Honorable David W. Hann Assistant Majority Leader 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. 328 Capitol Building St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 Dear Assistant Majority Leader Hann:
In a November 1, 2011 letter to MMB Commissioner James Schowalter, State Senator David Hann unilaterally blocked the use of nearly $25 million of federal funds (over five years) to help thousands of sick, disabled, and elderly people throughout our state. Those grants to the State Departments of Health (MDH) and Human Services (DHS) would provide funding to:
• Connect 5,000 cancer-afflicted Minnesota children and their parents to potentially lifesaving research through the expansion of electronic diagnosis reporting that reduces the time required to inform families of treatment options from six months down to four . weeks; Provide grants to local governments and tribes, home to more than 3 million Minnesotans, to assist populations with the greatest health disparities and reduce their incidence of chronic.disease, tobacco use, and obesity-which, together, add billions of dollars to the cost of health care in Minnesota; Develop a system of home and community-based services for aging veterans; and Offer lower cost care alternatives to 17,000 Minnesotans with Alzheimer's disease.
Senator Hann's unwarranted imposition of his personal ideology on state agencies' abilities to help people with urgent needs is unconscionable. He will severely harm 5,000 Minnesota children with cancer and their families, who would be helped by the Pediatric Cancer Surveillance grant. His action will prevent Minnesota families, who are enduring the horrific experience of children with cancer from learning about new medical research, which could save their children's lives. Senator Hann has decided also to block the Department of Human Services from helping some 172,000 elderly Minnesota veterans by connecting them to the appropriate home and community-based services. This grant is also designed to save money through preventative services. Another grant to DHS would help to develop lower cost alternatives for some 17,000 elderly Minnesotans with Alzheimer's disease. The goal of the award is to delay placement into assisted living and nursing home care. . Other programs provide important and needed services to Minnesotans. The Health Department's Community Transformation Grant would provide communities where three million
Voice: (651) 201-3400 or (800) 657-3717 Website: http:} I governor.state.mn.us Fax: (651) 797-1850 MN Relay (800) 627-3529 An Equal Opportunity Employer
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The Honorable David W. Hann November 8, 2011 Page 2
Minnesotans live with funds to improve health and prevent chronic disease. They are just the kind of the health care cost reduction strategies which have previously enjoyed strong bipartisan support because they help keep people healthy and thus, reduce their need for medical care. Commissioner Schowalter will be resubmitting the request for these funds under the "urgency" clause of Minnesota Statutes 2011, section 3.3005, subdivision 4, to allow immediate approval of these funds. Preventing the immediate use of these competitive grant funds creates a serious risk that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the u.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will withdraw the awards from Minnesota and re-direct the money to other states. Losing these grants will deny vital services to thousands of Minnesota children with cancer and asthma, elderly people with Alzheimer's disease, and veterans.
Governor cc: Senator Tony Lourey Representative Tom Huntley Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, MN Department of Human Services Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, MN Department of Health Commissioner James Schowalter, MN Department of Management and Budget
David W. Hann
Senator District 42 Assistant Majority Leader 328 State Capitol Building 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-1606 Office Phone: 651-296-1749
State NOV 2011
November 1, 2011
Dear Commissioner Showalter, In accordance with MS 3.3005 subdivision 6, and as a member of the Legislative Advisory Commission (LAC), I am writing to formally inform you of my desire for further review of the following grants for both the MN Department of Health and the MN Department of Human Services;
Community Transformation Grant - #93.531 Enhancement of the MN Cancer Surveillance System for Early Case Capture of Pediatric Young Adult Cancers - #93.283 Managing Unregulated Drinking Water Systems in MN - #93.070 Minnesota HUD Program to Reduce Environmental Triggers of Asthma (HUD-RETA) - #14.914 Prevention & Public Health Fund Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program - #93.544 AoA Dementia Services - #93.051 AoA Integrated Systems - #93.048 Strategic Prevention Enhancement Grant - CFDA#93.243; Funding Opportunity SP-ll-04
I am not pursuing the need for further review for the following grants from the MN Department of Health;
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ARRA Primary Care Offices - #93.414 Capacity Building Assistance to Strengthen Public Health Immunization Infrastructure and Performance - #93.539
. Thank you for attention on to this matter.
Senator David Hann Chairman, Senate Health and Human Service Committee
CC Senator Claire Robling, MN Senate Finance Committee
Department of Health:
Community Transformation Grant • $18,000,000 (5 years)
The Community Transformation Grant takes aim at rising health care costs with a mix of proven strategies to improve health outcomes. The five-year grant supports community efforts to reduce the physical and financial burden of chronic diseases felt by Minnesota families, businesses, and government. Minnesota was one of only 23% of applicants to receive this award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 199 applicants were not funded. Nationally, treating chronic diseases consumes 75 percent of the $2 trillion spent each year for health care costs. The Community Transformation Grant will help build Minnesota's economy by reducing chronic disease related-disability and improving worker productivity. $800,913 (3years)
Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System - Pediatric Cancer • • •
This grant would assist in identifying cases of pediatric cancer quicker and would give more families an opportunity to learn about studies that address these gaps in knowledge. The work for this project will increase efficiency overall of the state's cancer registry.' In the first year of the grant $40,000 is budgeted to go to two pathology laboratories, to purchase a cancer reporting module for their commercial laboratory information management system. This would enable them to generate electronic reports. (The remaining funds are for the work required within the central registry.) One of the labs is located in the metropolitan area; the other is located in North Dakota but provides diagnoses for many Minnesota residents - we would save thousands of dollars in travel costs and time if we could receive the reports electronically in the central office, rather than sending staff to North Dakota to identify the Minnesota residents. $144,000 (2 years)
Managing Unregulated Drinking Water •
Over 1 million people in Minnesota, 20% of the state's population, rely on private wells for their source of drinking water. This translates to an estimated 400,000 private wells currently in use. In rural Minnesota, private wells are overwhelmingly the primary source of drinking water. Even within areas that are.largely served by community public water supply systems, including highly urbanized communities, there are often communities or neighborhoods that are served exclusively by private wells. This builds upon expertise and collaborative networks developed since 2010 when MDH was awarded funds through a previous grant from the CDC. There has been increasing interest nationwide in protecting those served by private wells. Minnesota has been a leader in ensuring that private wells are constructed in a manner that provides maximum protection from manmade and naturally occurring contaminants. This is a relatively recent initiative by the CDC and Minnesota is positioned to continue to be at the forefront of increasing protection of those served by private wells.
Triggers of Asthma
$409,288 (3 years)
• . This grant will enable metro public health agencies reduce or eliminate environmental triggers of asthma in the homes of more than 200 children with asthma currently living in public and assisted multifamily housing. • Similar work in the past demonstrated that approximately $500 spent per child in this kind of intervention eliminated the need for hospitalizations or emergency department visits that would have cost over $2,500 per child - a savings in unspent health care costs of almost $2,000 per child. The number of school days missed for these children significantly declined from 7 days to less than 1 day on average 12 months later. • Delaying the start of this grant will delay these opportunities to reduce the number of children hospitalized with asthma. • Extremely competitive. More than 30 applications were received. Only four grants were awarded. Only one other state received an award.
Chronic Disease and Health Promotion
$1,954,389 (3 years)
Rare opportunity to have resources dedicated to implement organizational and operational changes that should lead to more integrated efforts around the surveillance of chronic diseases and the translation of research into public health practice. Cooperative agreement with funds above the minimum competitive. Could lose above the base.
Department of Human Services:
Aging Grant - Dementia Services • $700,200 (3 years)
This grant would enhance Minnesota's identification of dementia and efforts to support families with a person experiencing Alzheimer's. Services would be delivered through local Area Agencies on Aging. Primary focus of the grant is to implement an evidence-based intervention to delay placement of people with Alzheimer's into nursing facilities or assisted living. Minnesota expects to see the population with Alzheimer's more than double from now until 2050, to 200,000 people, putting pressure on families and public long-term care resources. There are no new costs to the state for administering or implementing this grant. In the long run the state saves money if we keep seniors in their homes as long as possible. $2,616,900 (3 years)
Aging Grant - Integrated Services •
This grant complements existing federal funding for Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging to enhance services designed to help seniors stay out of institutions and in their homes and communities. This grant includes a specific focus on identifying veterans and connecting them to Veterans Services, saving state funds, as well as working with the U.S. Veterans Administration to develop a system of federally-funded home and community-based services for veterans. There' are no new costs to the state for administering or implementing this grant. In the long run the state saves money if we keep seniors in their homes as long as possible. $186,388 (1 year)
Mental Health Prevention Grant •
This grant supports planning to incorporate mental health prevention efforts into existing chemical health prevention activities, advancing our strategic direction of addressing cooccurring disorders. The result of the planning effort in this grant will help Minnesota direct existing federal prevention grants to more effectively address mental health, chemical health and suicide prevention efforts. There are no new costs to the state for administering or implementing this grant. In the long run we can make more effective use of state funds if we design services to address co-occurring mental and chemical health disorders.
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