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Public Health Grant Program Delayed After Internal Audit

 

For release: Immediate    March 23, 2012
Contact: Julie Henry (919) 855-4840

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH) has notified community partners that it has terminated the current grant process of the Community Focused Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (CFEHDI) following an investigation into mismanagement of state funds in the program. Grants awarded through the CFEDHI are intended for use by community based organizations to fund education and prevention efforts to improve health outcomes in underserved and minority populations.

An internal audit performed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determined that there had been irregularities in management, oversight, monitoring and use of state resources allocated to the CFEDHI. In accordance with state law, this suspected misuse of state funds has been reported to the State Bureau of Investigation.

The CFEHDI is a state-funded program that, in Fiscal Year 2010-11, was responsible for grants to 34 agencies totaling approximately $2.8 million.

“Reducing health disparities across North Carolina is too important; we will not allow anything to tarnish this program,” State Health Director Laura Gerald said. “Our internal audit has identified the issues and we are taking swift action to stop any further mismanagement or potential mismanagement. We will continue to monitor this program closely.”

Following the investigation, personnel changes have occurred in the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, which was responsible for grant administration. An interim director of the office has been appointed until a permanent director is hired.

“We are committed to protecting the integrity of this program and maintaining the public’s trust in our ability to administer programs that provide critical services to the people of North Carolina,” said Acting DHHS Secretary Al Delia.

The Division of Public Health will be issuing a new Request for Applications for CFEHDI grants within the next month, with grant awards anticipated in July 2012.

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