Health News

Prevention and Public Health Fund Budget Announced for FY2011

Prevention and Public Health Fund Budget Announced

February 9, 2011 - The Department of Health and Human Services held a conference call today to explain the allocation of the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund. The fund is designed to expand and sustain the necessary infrastructure to prevent disease, detect it early, manage conditions before they become severe, and provide states and communities the resources they need to promote healthy living. In FY2010, $500 million of the Fund was distributed to states and communities to boost prevention and public health efforts, improve health, enhance health care quality, and foster the next generation of primary health professionals. This year, $750 million will support community and clinical prevention, strengthen public health infrastructure and training, and expand research and tracking to improve the health of Americans across the country. On a recent call organized by the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy, Office of Health Reform, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director, Trust for America’s Health provided updates on the allocations of the fund for FY2011:

The FY11 budget is $750 million and will address 4 key areas:
Community Prevention ($298M) for "transformation grants" for prevention intervention such as tobacco & obesity, health disparity and launch of prevention programs: 

∙	Clinical prevention ($182M) for critical wellness and affordable care, immunization; 
∙	Public Health intervention ($140M) for 21st century challenges;
∙	Research & tracking ($130M) for collection, analysis and impact of Affordable Care Act.  

All the programs build on emphasis on building public health and prevention. Today is 1st anniversary of Let's Move - many innovative programs are making an impact. Also, Deficit Reduction Act funds are making impact. Also the new Prevention Advisory Council has 13 members charged with new national prevention and health promotion strategy. "Making prevention come alive." Ms. Alvarez: said the strategy is a holistic approach to health. Housing, transportation, quality food, and environment – they will advise the council and federal partners. The council will work hand in hand. Affordable Care Act - concentration on prevention. Foundation last year - clear indication to country that health is impacted by various environmental and social factors. Fact sheets to be posted on results of funds and grants to date and for next year. "Bring prevention to forefront of efforts." Mr. Levi said the release of prevention funds is a historic day. It spurs all Americans to better health - too often we focus on health after the fact. Prevention is the key to transforming health care – it is the right course. Targeted investments for communities for 1) local investment 2) workforce and 3) evidence-based work. These are the 3 buckets to focus on. He remind everyone there is a logic and strategy behind the three efforts. $ from grants to help every community. "Make this a healthier country and help for response to natural disasters and other threats." He said community transformation grants are for local use – for things we can do as a community as well as people taking personal responsibility.

Q &:A session:
Question - Community transformation grant announcement & guidance?  
Answers:
Per Dr. Koh, please check the www.Grants.gov website and they will communicate as well.  Office of Health Reform to communicate as well. 

Question - Timing issue?  Any rescission potential?  Process needs to be swift.  Will process be curtailed?  
Answers:
Dr. Koh said agencies have already prepared draft announcements and are ready.  Hopeful for no rescissions - bipartisian/nonpartisan.  More prevention is needed regardless of political party. 
Mr. Levi said the health of the next two generations is at stake.

Question - Integrated health care practices a focus but not often mandated – will there be any requirements in Fund grants?
Answers:
Ms. Alvarez said she was not aware of specific grant requirements  -- there is ability for community to address tools and resources.
Dr. Koh said there will be better and more innovative systems of care and prevention to explore moving forward. 

AGO Stakeholder Conference Calls

Youth Serving Organizations and Education Stakeholders Conference Call

The White House February 17, 2011

Speakers:
-	Julie Rodriguez, Director of Youth, DOI
-	Meryl Harrell, Senior Advisor, USDA
-	Dan Kanninen, White House Liaison, EPA
-	Amy Salzman, Associate Director for Policy Outreach, CEQ
-	Moderator: Jack Shapiro
•	Ms. Salzman drew participants’ attention to the last two recommendations in the recently released America’s Great Outdoors Report.  The first will establish an AGO Council, which will serve as an interagency federal family council. The council will incorporate agencies like those participating in the call as well as the Department of Education, HUD and the Department of Labor with the purpose of working together on conservation.  The second recommendation establishes a partnership for America’s Great Outdoors, which would be non-governmental and would create a forum for people who care about conservation and recreation to work constructively.

Health and Recreation in the News

March 2006

Exercise Shown to Improve Brain Function
(Naperville, IL) - On May 2, Dr. John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School will present the newer data from the world of neuroscience that clearly shows how physical exercise has effects on the brain that helps promote learning, regulate mood and improve self-esteem and motivation. The findings about physical activity and brain functioning reflect a growing understanding of the brain's amazing ability to adapt and develop. In addition to the findings about exercise and brain function, Dr. Ratey will also share the potential for brain research to reshape classroom practice to increase student achievement.

American Hiking Society Partners with the CDC

ARC Recommends...News and Articles of Interest to Recreation Leaders

Outdoors columnist and would-be athlete Tom Wharton, writing in the The Salt Lake Tribune, challenged the outdoor gear industry, whose semi-annual trade show opens in Salt Lake this week, with the observation that “the message manufacturers too often send through advertisements and gear is that only the young, fit and healthy are worthy.” To read this article, click here .

John Merline, writing this week for TCS Daily, notes that spending on recreation has climbed at about the same rate as health care costs over the last 20 years – 386%. As the nation grows richer, he argues, “it has ramped up spending in several areas, including health care, that improve quality of life.” To read more, click here.

Obesity Threatens Life Expectancy

NEW STUDY SUGGESTS OBESITY THREATENS LIFE EXPECTANCY



In a contraversial study, scientists are predicting that rising obesity rates might cut lifespans by two to five years. Such a development would mark the first decline in life expectancy in the US since figures began to be kept in 1900. In 2003 the life expectancy reached an all time high of 77.6 years.

Rising levels of obesity among the young puts them at risk to be the first generation to live shorter and less healthy lives than those of their parents. Of particular concern are minority groups which show high levels of of obesity and have less access to medical care on the whole. One doctor described the threat of obesity as a "massive tsunami headed for the shoreline."

Read the whole story from The Washington Post or USA Today

Health and Recreation in the News

Health and Recreation in the News

March 2006

Exercise Shown to Improve Brain Function
(Naperville, IL) - On May 2, Dr. John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School will present the newer data from the world of neuroscience that clearly shows how physical exercise has effects on the brain that helps promote learning, regulate mood and improve self-esteem and motivation. The findings about physical activity and brain functioning reflect a growing understanding of the brain's amazing ability to adapt and develop. In addition to the findings about exercise and brain function, Dr. Ratey will also share the potential for brain research to reshape classroom practice to increase student achievement.

American Hiking Society Partners with the CDC

Inadequate Physical Activity Worsens As Teenagers Become Adults

Inadequate Physical Activity Worsens As Teenagers Become Adults

CHAPEL HILL — While promoting physical activity and encouraging people to limit the time they spend watching television are important throughout life, those efforts are critical before adolescence, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation concludes.

That’s because the physical activity picture worsens rather than improves as teens make the transition into young adulthood, UNC researchers found in the largest national study of changes in exercise patterns over time. Especially needed are efforts to get Hispanic and black girls to become more active, those scientists say.

Snowshoeing introduced to P.E. classes in Virginia

News Release

Contact: SnowSports Industry Association, 703-566-9020, www.thesnowtrade.org

SNOWSPORTS INDUSTRIES AMERICA AND FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS PARTNER TO INTRODUCE SNOWSHOEING CURRICULUM TO PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS THIS WINTER

Students Can Earn Awards from President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports By Combining Snow Sports With Other Activities

(MCLEAN, Va., August 25, 2004) – Through a partnership with the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) will introduce the first curriculum-based snowshoeing program for use this winter by physical education teachers in the county. Kathy Murphy, general manager of Tubbs Snowshoes, will present an “Introduction to Snowshoeing” workshop for elementary teachers and secondary school teachers during the County’s annual physical education teachers’ in-service professional days September 1 and 2, 2004 at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va. It is the county’s largest gathering of physical fitness professionals and this will be the first time that a snow sport has been included in the Fairfax County in-service. Teachers will learn how they can offer snowshoeing in their physical education classes this winter and what what their students need to know to enjoy the winter activity. Teachers also can demo snowshoes outside during the in-service.