Day 3: Building Momentum

We have learned that health is not an individual issue. What we are most recently learning (sometimes the hard way) is that health is not just an issue for the medical world, the government, and those interested in public health. Health is an issue that everyone has to be concerned about and this includes entities within the government, non-profit and community settings, and even the for profit world. Below are some great momentous activities that have been going on.

I’m particualry excited about the decision of cvs to stop selling tobacco products. That was a huge step for them to take and a huge risk since tobaccos sales are a big part of these pharmacy and wellness stores. It makes sense that a store focused on health and wellness would stop selling products that are the exact opposite of health and well-being. I think that there are other things that they could be looking at as well, but this was a huge step and I hope the Walgreens, Rite Aids and other stores of the world will catch up as well.

Debates around the Affordable Care Act have brought added attention to prevention and public health. As a result, we’re beginning to see a broad range of influential organizations taking important steps in line with creating the Healthiest Nation. Yet, as we celebrate the gains we’ve made, a key challenge will be to expand and build upon this momentum.

Facts & Stats:

  • At APHA, we’ve developed a strategic plan for the public health community to help America become the Healthiest Nation in One Generation!
  • Robert Wood Johnson is re-positioning the foundation’s work behind the goal of “creating a culture of health.”
  • In 2014, the American Planning Association – the organization of professionals who help communities plan for growth and change – for the first time dedicated a full day of their annual meeting to health.
  • The First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative is gaining traction in addressing childhood obesity & raising a healthier generation of kids.
  • Even in the for-profit sector we see companies seeking a better balance between their profits and the health of their customers:
    • CVS Health has stopped selling tobacco products and has expanded their programs to help people quit.
    • Sixteen major food and beverage companies reduced the calories in the products they sold by 6.4 trillion calories.

What’s next? Together we can create the healthiest nation in one generation.

We have a lot of challenges to overcome, but it all starts with a simple first step:

Sign the pledge to show your commitment.  Ask others to sign as well because the more people who sign, the more influence we have to drive change.

Sign the petition to ask our leaders to do their part.  It will take change at both the local and national level to ensure our communities make a positive impact on our health.