(410 ILCS 100/5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings and intent.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that despite State investments in health care programs, certain racial and ethnic populations in Illinois continue to have significantly poorer health outcomes when compared to non-Hispanic whites. The General Assembly finds that local solutions to health care problems can have a dramatic and positive effect on the health status of these populations. Local governments and communities are best equipped to: identify the health education, health promotion, and disease prevention needs of the racial and ethnic populations in their communities; mobilize the community to address health outcome disparities; enlist and organize local public and private resources and faith-based organizations to address these disparities; and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
    (b) The Illinois Department of Human Services has several initiatives to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality and diabetes, and the Illinois Department of Public Health has several initiatives to address asthma; breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer; kidney disease; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; sexually transmitted diseases; adult and child immunizations; cardiovascular disease; and accidental injuries and violence.
    (c) It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly to provide funds within Illinois counties, in the form of "Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: Closing the Gap" grants, to stimulate the development of community-based and neighborhood-based projects that will improve the health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations. Further, it is the intent of the General Assembly that these programs foster the development of coordinated, collaborative, and broad-based participation by public and private entities and by faith-based organizations. Finally, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the grant program function as a partnership between State and local governments, faith-based organizations, and private-sector health care providers, including managed care, voluntary health care resources, social service providers, and nontraditional partners.
(Source: P.A. 94-447, eff. 1-1-06.)