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The most common items sold in school stores, vending machines or a la carte in the cafeteria are sweetened drinks, chips, candy, cookies and snack cakes.

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National Advisory Committee

Leadership for Healthy Communities is privileged to receive guidance from the nation’s foremost experts and practitioners in fields relevant to active living and healthy eating.

Angela Glover Blackwell, J.D., Founder and CEO, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell founded PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure. Ms. Blackwell is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), and contributed to Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream (2007) and The Covenant with Black America (2006).

Mayor Mick Cornett (R), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mayor Mick Cornett entered politics in 2001, challenging a two-term incumbent on the Oklahoma City city council. He served on the city council until elected mayor in 2004. A record-setting re-election margin (88 percent) in 2006 was followed by a third term in 2010. He is only the fourth mayor in the city’s history to be elected to three terms. Mayor Cornett led the charge to pass the visionary infrastructure program known as MAPS 3, a $777 million investment that will dramatically reshape Oklahoma City and enhance the quality of life for its residents.  During his tenure, Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate has been among the nation’s lowest. He spearheaded major initiatives to improve the city’s schools and streets and famously put Oklahoma City “on a diet,” challenging the citizens to improve their health. Mayor Cornett earned a degree in journalism at the University of Oklahoma, which led to a successful, 20-year television career. He is now an Executive Vice President of Ackerman McQueen and was named “Advertising Man of the Year” by the Oklahoma City Ad Club in 2010.

Lori Dorfman, DrPH, Director, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Dr. Lori Dorfman was BMSG's first associate director in 1993 and became director in 1998. She earned her doctorate in 1994 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, where she studied how television news frames health issues. Dr. Dorfman oversees BMSG's research, media advocacy training, strategic consultation, and education for journalists and consults with programs across the U.S. on a variety of public health issues, helping them apply the principles of media advocacy. Her research examines media portrayals of public health issues, including children's health, food and beverage marketing, nutrition, breastfeeding, violence, and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. She co-authored the major texts on media advocacy: Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention and News for a Change: An Advocate's Guide to Working with the Media. She edited Reporting on Violence: A Handbook for Journalists, which encourages journalists to include a public health perspective in violence reporting and led an interdisciplinary team that conducted workshops on violence reporting for newspapers and local TV news stations. Dr. Dorfman co-chairs the Food Marketing Workgroup, a national coalition dedicated to eliminating harmful food marketing and is a trustee on the board of Voices for America's Children. She teaches a course on mass communication at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

Representative Dwight Evans (D), 203rd Legislative District, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Representative Dwight Evans began his career in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1980, when he was elected at the age of 26 to represent the people of the 203rd legislative district in Northwest Philadelphia. He was elected Democratic chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a position he held from 1990 to 2010. During the course of his public service career, Rep. Evans has earned a national reputation as a transformational policymaker, highly regarded for his work to deliver quality food to underserved communities, his commitment to education and his efforts to stop handgun violence–all of which are part of his broader strategy to spur economic development throughout Pennsylvania. He is the catalyst behind Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative. More than 85 small, mid-size and full-scale stores have been developed in Pennsylvania through the program. In addition, because of a suggestion from Rep. Evans, the Pennsylvania Hunger Garden now exists on the grounds of the state capitol building and provides thousands of pounds of fresh produce to local food banks and soup kitchens throughout central Pennsylvania.

Martha Katz, M.P.A., Trustee, Georgia Health Foundation

Ms. Martha Katz is a national health policy leader who currently serves as a trustee of the Georgia Health Foundation.  As the director of health policy for Healthcare Georgia Foundation from 2003-2008, she designed health policy programs and grants to reflect the foundation’s role as a catalyst for better health and health care in Georgia. She also served as deputy director for policy and legislation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she led the CDC’s policy and program development, legislative initiatives, health communications programs and relationships with external partners. She was the first program director of the CDC Foundation and worked in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion on the first Healthy People, Objectives for the Nation, published in 1980. She received a Master of Public Administration from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Katz also provides consultation to national and state health foundations.

*Ms. Martha Katz chairs the Leadership for Healthy Communities National Advisory Committee.

James Krieger, M.D., M.P.H., Disease Control Officer, King County Department of Public Health

Dr. James Krieger is the disease control officer for Public Health ‐ Seattle and King County, Washington. He also serves as clinical professor of medicine and health services and attending physician at the University of Washington. His recent research work has emphasized interventions to reduce health disparities by addressing social determinants of health. He has directed two community chronic disease coalitions that seek to reduce disparities in the incidence of asthma, diabetes and obesity: Seattle‐King County Allies Against Asthma and King County Steps to Health. He is also senior leader for the newly funded Kellogg Food and Fitness Initiative, which links food systems work with healthy built environments. Dr. Krieger is a nationally recognized expert in housing and health and the development and evaluation of community‐based chronic disease control and prevention programs. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Innovation in Prevention Award from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard, completed medical training in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and earned a master's of public health degree from the University of Washington.

Amy Lazarus Yaroch, Ph.D., Executive Director, Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

Since March 2009, Dr. Amy Yaroch has served as the Executive Director at the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition. She is an Affiliate Member of the Eppley Cancer Center and holds appointments as a professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to her position at the Center, Dr. Yaroch was a Program Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Health Promotion Research Branch for more than six years where she led research efforts in the areas of nutrition, obesity prevention and sun safety/skin cancer prevention.

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  • 1367 hitsAndy Fountain
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Andy FountainFebruary 26, 2014                                       (202) 265-5112 Findings reinforce the need for policies to reduce childhood obesity WASHINGTON—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that obesity rates among two- to five-year olds have declined over the past decade. Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recognizes the significance of these findings and applauds the countless efforts of policy-makers, community leaders, parents, and school officials nationwide who are dedicated to reducing and preventing childhood obesity. 
  • 2290 hitsAndy Fountain
    For Immediate Release                                Contact: Andrew SousaJune 27, 2013                                        (202) 265-5112 New standards will help ensure healthier options in schools nationwide WASHINGTON—Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, announced support for the interim final rule released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that helps ensure that all snacks and drinks sold in vending machines, school stores and alongside school meals in the cafeteria are healthy. “Millions of children will benefit from having healthier options because of the updated USDA standards for snacks and drinks sold in schools—where many of our kids consume up to half their daily calories,” said Maya Rockeymoore, director of Leadership for Healthy Communities. “Policy changes that make it easier for kids and families to eat healthier foods are helping to improve the health of our communities, and it’s important that schools implement these new standards as quickly as possible.”
  • 2662 hitsAndy Fountain
    For Immediate Release                                 Contact: Andrew SousaJanuary 16, 2013                                         (202) 265-5112 Funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will help state and local leaders increase opportunities for physical activity, healthy eating WASHINGTON — Six national policy-maker associations have received a total of $1.8 million in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help communities increase children’s access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. The grants were awarded through Leadership for Healthy Communities, an RWJF national program that assists state and local leaders in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The associations were selected because their members are uniquely positioned to work across multiple levels of government and across intra-governmental agencies and departments to eliminate barriers to healthy eating and active living in schools and communities.
  • 3150 hitsAndy Fountain
    For Immediate Release                 Contact: Andrew Sousa                   (202) 265-5112         \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. June 29, 2012 LEADERSHIP FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES APPLAUD U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION ON ACA WASHINGTON - Leadership for Healthy Communities applauds the decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as constitutional. The Prevention and Public Health Fund created by ACA has increased the national investment in prevention and public health, including efforts to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and reduce obesity-related conditions and health care costs. Chronic diseases related to obesity – such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes – are responsible for seven of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending.

Leadership for Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation