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For Immediate Release: January 27, 2011

Statement by Governor Lowell Weicker, Jr., president Trust for America’s Health, on Executive Director Jeff Levi Receiving the Presidential Appointment to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health

Washington, D.C., January 27, 2011 – I am pleased that Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, has been appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.

This is further recognition of Dr. Levi as one of the country’s leading experts on prevention and public health policy.

Clearly the dynamics of public health in this country have begun to shift from focusing just on treating diseases to trying to prevent diseases from occurring in the first place. We are encouraged to see growing momentum around prevention, most notably in the National Prevention Strategy, which is part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Strategy will also help ensure that the federal government engages in a health in all policies approach, with each agency contributing to the quality of our nation’s health.

Created by the ACA, the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health (Advisory Group), which will report to Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, will develop policy and program recommendations and advise the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (Council) on lifestyle-based chronic disease prevention and management, integrative health care practices, and health promotion.

The work will culminate in the release of the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, which will:

  • Set specific goals and objectives for improving the health of the United States through federally supported prevention, health promotion, and public health programs;
  • Establish specific and measurable actions and timelines to carry out the strategy, and determine accountability for meeting those timelines, within and across Federal departments and agencies; and;
  • Make recommendations to improve Federal efforts relating to prevention, health promotion, public health, and integrative health-care practices to ensure that Federal efforts are consistent with available standards and evidence.

This is a timely and incredibly important step for the country as this generation threatens to be the first to live shorter and less healthy lives than their parents.

With the creation of the National Prevention Strategy, Council, and Advisory Group, President Obama has set the nation on a course that should make the healthy choices the easy choices for everyone.

I congratulate Dr. Levi on being appointed to such a luminary Advisory Group. While there is a lot of work to be done, this is a seminal moment for public health.

The full list of appointees is:

  • JudyAnn Bigby, Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Valerie Brown, First District County Supervisor for the County of Sonoma
  • Jonathan Fielding, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and County Health Officer
  • Ned Helms, Jr.,  Director of the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire
  • Charlotte Kerr, practitioner of traditional acupuncture, a healthcare consultant and a faculty member of the Tai Sophia Institute
  • Jeffrey Levi, Executive Director of Trust for America's Health
  • Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, Professor of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Vivek Murthy, attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School
  • Barbara Otto, CEO and former Executive Director of Health & Disability Advocates
  • Linda Rosenstock, Dean of the School of Public Health and a Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA
  • John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society
  • Susan Swider, Professor in the College of Nursing at the Rush University Medical Center
  • Sharon Van Horn, pediatrician with a longstanding interest in the prevention of childhood and adolescent health and behavioral problems.

The Honorable Lowell Weicker, Jr., has a political career spanning over 30 years, including three terms as a U.S. Senator, and as Governor of Connecticut. In the Senate, he was the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Committee. Governor Weicker attended and graduated from Yale University (BA) and the University of Virginia (LLB), and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from over 20 universities and colleges. He has received many awards including the JFK Library Profiles in Courage Award, the Albert Lasker Service Award, the Hubert Humphrey Civil Rights Leadership Award, the Joseph Kennedy Foundation Award for the Disabled, and the Wayne Morse Political Integrity Award.

Dr. Levi is currently Executive Director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to making disease prevention a national priority.  As Executive Director of TFAH, Dr. Levi leads the organization's efforts to advance a modernized public health system.   He is also a Professor of Health Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where he teaches courses in health policy and has conducted research on HIV/AIDS, Medicaid, integrating public health, and the healthcare delivery system.  Prior to joining academia, Dr. Levi was Deputy Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (1994-1996).  Previously, he served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health.  Dr. Levi has been engaged in HIV policy work since the beginning of the epidemic and is widely recognized as a leading national advocate for gay-lesbian and HIV-related issues.  He holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University.

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org.

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Contact

Elle Hogan
202-223-9870 x21
ehogan@tfah.org