Usually, when you hear from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s bad news.

However, not always.  Guilford County government got some very good news from the CDC – the news that the county is getting $1,413,671 in grant money to beef up its public health infrastructure.

On Thursday, March 21, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is set to accept the grant, which will be used to help enhance public health services in a myriad of ways.

The award was granted to the county due to “a history of underinvestment in the public health system and its foundational services,” and it “supplements existing work in Clinical Services, Environmental Health and Workforce Development.”

This funding, which passed through the State of North Carolina on the way to Guilford County, is meant to help the Guilford County Division of Public Health meet immediate needs, modernize some practices and allow health staff make long-term strategic investments with long lasting effects on local public health in the county.

The grant is meant to beef up these areas:

(1) Preventing the spread of communicable disease

(2) Ensuring food, air and water quality are safe

(3) Supporting maternal and child health

(4) Improving access and linkages to clinical care services

(5) Preventing chronic disease and injury.

To those ends, the Division of Public Health is using some of the money to hire new environmental health specialists who oversee water quality and food and lodging safety.

The public health division is also hiring a nurse who specializes in communicable diseases and a public health investigator who will focus on containing the spread of those diseases.

In addition, the funds will pay for more training for public health staff in line with the goals of the grant.