OASIS Joins in Summit of the Partnership for a Healthier America
December 12, 2011 (St. Louis, MO) – The OASIS Institute recently participated in the inaugural “Building a Healthier Future Summit” of Partnership for a Healthier America in Washington DC, led by First Lady Michelle Obama. The summit brought together more than 800 leaders from private industry, nonprofits and government – to form partnerships and make commitments in addressing one of the most pressing public health problems in the country – childhood obesity.
OASIS President Marcia Kerz, National Health Director James Teufel and National Health Manager Peter Holtgrave represented OASIS at the summit.
OASIS, which serves adults 50+, brings a powerful resource to help solve this crisis, according to Kerz – the experience and commitment of thousands of volunteers who care about kids. “Engaging volunteers in their communities is a key element of our mission to promote successful aging,” she said. “By bringing together caring adults and children, we can identify opportunities for local policy and environmental changes that will reverse the obesity epidemic. We have the capacity to make a substantial impact.”
Through research-based programs like CATCH Healthy Habits
and Intergenerational Tutoring
, OASIS volunteers work to improve children’s education, health literacy, physical activity and nutrition. OASIS has worked with more than 120 community partners and 1000 schools in 34 cities, including school districts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, YMCAs, parks departments, corporations and other agencies.
In addition to OASIS’ role in the fight against obesity, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Newark New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, co-chairs of the partnership, highlighted commitments made to help meet the challenges of the nation’s obesity epidemic. Some examples:
- Walgreens and Wal-Mart will expand stores in food deserts to increase access to healthy affordable foods.
- YMCA and New Horizons will adopt new standards to increase physical activity, reduce screen time and improve healthy eating of its youth members.
- The Girl Scouts of the USA pledged support for ChildObesity 180, a nationwide initiative that seeks to reverse childhood obesity in one generation.
Along with other non-profits, private industry and government, OASIS has made a commitment to this national mission, Kerz said, and is also reviewing other ways in which to contribute in helping conquer the childhood obesity epidemic.