FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             CONTACT: Rich Harris, 860-524-7313

November 28, 2010                                                      


            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state is receiving more than $300,000 in federal funding to conduct a yearlong, statewide public health survey and gauge risk factors associated with behavior.

            Governor Rell said the data, which will be reviewed monthly by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will be used in monitoring diseases such as influenza, West Nile virus and respiratory illnesses. It will also be used to enhance preventive programs. The grants were awarded to the state Department of Public Health by the CDC as part of the national health care reform law.

            “Wellness and prevention are critical factors in lowering health care costs for everyone,” Governor Rell said. “This survey will help give Connecticut public health officials another effective tool in monitoring the health of our citizens and responding appropriately with prevention and educational programs.”

            DPH surveys residents through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing telephone survey of adults conducted in all 50 states and coordinated by CDC. Households are randomly selected and contacted by a contractor who conducts most interviews in the evenings and on weekends.

            The questionnaire changes from year to year and from state to state to meet changing needs and address state specific priorities. The BRFSS originally collected data on health behaviors related to the leading causes of death but has since been expanded to include issues related to health care access, utilization of preventive health services and to address emerging issues such as West Nile virus or H1N1 flu.

            Each month, survey data are sent to the CDC for editing and checking. At the end of each year, data are compiled and adjusted to be representative of all adults in the state. The information is then returned to the states for analysis and use in planning and monitoring health programs. Data for all states are available at

            Governor Rell said the state has also received a $25,849 grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to conduct a statewide needs assessment of infant and early childhood home visiting services in Connecticut. Data from the assessment will be used to develop a statewide plan for building a coordinated system of care to focus resources in communities at high risk for poor childhood development and school readiness outcomes.

            For more information, contact DPH at or call (860) 509-7270.

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