Obesity Task Force Meeting Minutes
May 2013 Meeting Presentations
Jonathan Edwards, a program manager from the Alabama Department of Public Health, provided an overview of the Chronic Disease Self Management Program. This is a six week course, led by trained lay leaders, used to teach decision making skills to the participants. Jonathan provided a mock class setting and OTF members worked through a goal setting exercise. The program is implemented in a variety of settings, including hospitals, senior centers, community centers, churches, wellness sites, etc. To implement the course, leaders participate in a two-day training course. No cost to the participant is included, but the hosting site pays a set up cost of purchasing work books. To learn more about implementing the course contact Jonathan via email or at (334) 206-5605. Decision making tools used in this program are available for download below.
February 2013 Meeting Presentations
Michael A. Morrisey, Ph.D., is the director of the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy. He provided an update on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reviewed implications for Alabama. The goal of the ACA is to reduce the number of uninsured persons in USA. A help sight, eHealthInsurance, is designed to provide comparisons of the basics of a variety of plans. The eHealthers are available to help you work through the different options and select the best plan for your needs. Dr. Morrisey provided views of the benefits and barriers of a state developing its own plan versus accepting the federal plan. He explained why it was prudent that Gov. Bently accepted the federal plan.
Julie Wells is with Care Network, which is a not- for profit organization that provides case management for the patients of physicians who accept Patient 1st Medicaid in east Alabama. Alabama's Medicaid caseload is approximately 90% children. They cover seven counties: Bullock, Chambers, Coosa, Lee, Macon, Russell, and Tallapoosa.
Julie explained that they do not bill the patients, but are 100% Mediciad funded. The case manager determines the patient contact schedule, which may vary from frequent home visits to phone calls. The model is based on North Carolina's plan and is heavily weighted for case managers. The success of the cost savings and patient complience is directly related to the trust devleoped with the case managers and the patients and working closely with the physicans' offices. They focus on the total person, which may require mental health or pharmacy interventions.
November 2012 Meeting Presentations
University of Alabama students Morgan Haygood, Elizabeth Murray, Suzanna Niehoff and Erin Marie Patenaude presented a basic obesity burden report for breastfeeding. The correlation between breastfeeding and obesity protection for the infant and weight loss for the mother is well accepted. The students' findings were from web-based information sources. Alabama has a lower breastfeeding rate than the states they used as comparison, and the comparison states had more peer counseling, more baby-friendly hospitals, and more lactation consultants. More interaction in supporting breastfeeding with the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee was a recommendation from OTF members.
OTF members were surveyed to gather input on meeting location, time and format. Mim Gaines provided the results, which indicated that meeting in Clanton with one or two speakers followed by committee work time was the preferred format. Requested topics for future meetings included community interventions, school approaches, worksite wellness, policy changes needed, medical research and grant writing.
August 2012 Meeting Presentations
Helen Wilson described the community changes in Tuskegee, Alabama, that are based on a small grant from the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality "Be Our Voice" initiative. The grant requires advocacy training and one policy, system or environmental change. For more details, refer to the following meeting minutes.
Rebecca Sterling and Amy Robinson shared information about Sterling Health and the Healthy Huntsville Initiative. Sterling Health was formed from the concern of increased use of pharmacological routes to address diseases stemming from lifestyle choices. One of Sterling Health's goals is to get community involvement by building on the positive aspects of the culture. As part of the process, a "Healthy Huntsville" downloadable application has been created.
May 2012 Meeting Presentations
Caroline Dunn, a University of Alabama master's level student, provided her thesis findings on the taxation of fruits and vegetables. She stated that Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states to have level taxation (4%) on all foods regardless of type. She pointed out that when salaries increase, an increase in purchase of fruits and vegetables does not automatically follow. She provided several solutions in assisting the general population to consume more fruits and vegetables.
Dianne Lollar provided information on initiatives that address food access. The first was from an educational opportunity for her to help Cuba with sustainable food concepts and planting. The second was the result of a local grant from Share Our Strength, which funded grocery store interventions. A tour, followed by web-based menus and phone applications, resulted in increased skills in purchasing and preparing produce.
March 2012 Meeting Presentation
Dollie Hambrick, Alabama Arise representative, reviewed health care reform and explained the yearly implementation schedule. Ms. Hambrick explained that if the state does not implement an action plan of its own, the federal government's plan will be mandated. She reviewed areas such as preventive services and offered scenarios that must be considered, including an increased demand and decrease of providers. Ms. Hambrick specifically noted the obesity services that are covered. For more detailed information, visit Healthcare.gov.
November 2011 Meeting Presentations
Linda Knol, PhD, RD, presented information on the link between lack of food and obesity. She provided definitions of food insecurity and looked at potential areas to address the problems. Some of the connections can be that food restriction can lead to a preoccupation with food; a food reward is sought after deprivation; adults and children learn to overeat in the presence of food; and the calorically dense foods are less expensive. Also discussed are the perceptions of weight and the skills needed to balance food intake and budgets, including menu planning, time management and simple cooking techniques.
Nisa Miranda provided information on the newly developed Alabama Trails Commission. The Commission is working to bring together all trail stakeholders and to coordinate their efforts as a way to leverage Alabama's natural resources. This coordination will help promote Alabama with a positive image, which will assist in economic development/impact-jobs, small businesses, and expanding the tax base while providing information to improve quality of life and health. Alabama has many beautiful natural resources - we are all encourated to get out and explore the state, as well as be supportive of the Commisson's efforts.
Jefferson County Community Recovery Committee Meetings
Members of the State Obesity Task Force are encouraged to attend upcoming public meetings of the Jefferson County Community Recovery Committee. These meetings represent an opportunity to bring about the types of environmental changes that will help alleviate the obesity issues our residents face. For information on future meetings, contact Dan Voketz at email@example.com or by phone at 205-325-5638, or email Evan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2011 Meeting Presentation
Jennifer Adams provided an overview of the State Department of Education's Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teachers' approach to job readiness and their Star Events for students. There are 450 FACS teachers in the state who teach more than 1,500 students. Teachers are teaching job opportunities as they teach subject matter.
Polly McClure gave a presentation on the American Academy of Pediatrics "Reach Out and Read" program. She is working with pediatricians across the state to make this program a success. In summer 2011, over 500 copies of the book The Hungry Caterpillar were placed in MD offices around the state. McClure worked with Obesity Task Force Chair Elect Michael Jackson to place the book in a Dothan office where the pediatrician read it to children, and Jackson provided vegetables for the children to taste after hearing the story.
May 2011 Meeting Presentation
Teresa Johnson, Glenda Avery, and Misty Cousins presented information from the work completed by Troy University in Union Springs, Alabama through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant. The grant funded a wellness coordinator to have a focused approach in Union Springs Elementary School.
The pre-grant intervention description of the school environment included an unimplemented wellness policy, overcrowded physical education (PE) classes, minor nutrition information shared in science class, lack of parental involvement, cookie fundraisers, food-based rewards for good behavior, and physical activity-based punishments for misbehavior. The post-intervention description revealed after two years many positive changes, including: a school garden, increased health lessons in PE classes, school field days, teacher role modeling, and parental involvement.
February 2011 Meeting Presentations
Taylor Huff provided an introduction to Jefferson County’s Health Action Partnership. She described the "Communities Putting Prevention to Work" grant from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, outlining the current actions and future plans in Jefferson County.
Teresa Fair and Whitney Pinkson reviewed the vending machine intervention targeted at state office buildings to improve access to healthy foods.