HMA Goes to Washington DC

On May 31st, President Marlene Feagan represented HMA at a meeting in Washington, DC, with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Team and national faith leaders. This was an opportunity for HMA to be “at the table” to discuss how Faith United to End Childhood Obesity (FUTECO) can collaborate with the Let’s Move! Campaign, seeking to achieve a common goal of ending childhood obesity in America.

It was a strategic meeting and the First Lady’s Team expressed a strong interest in working closely with those in attendance. Leadership and support of this initiative by the First Lady, the Let’s Move! Team and the White House Chef, Sam Kass, are significant!

Connect with the Let’s Move! Campaign

One of the first ways HMA has agreed to help is to assist members to connect with the Let’s Move! Campaign and to sign up on the Let’s Move! website. Ultimately, we would like to recruit as many HMA members to encourage their respective faith communities to participate in this movement. Faith communities are centers of trust and caring within a community and are well positioned to inform and encourage people to take action around this important agenda.

As a first step and to demonstrate HMA’s motivation to make change happen, HMA National Conference participants in Nashville were encouraged to sign up to participate in the Let’s Move! Campaign. Over 50 new HMA partners enrolled and are ready to begin their unique role in ending childhood obesity. If you have not subscribed to this effort we are asking you to sign on to recruit your faith community to participate by following these steps:

    1. Under organization put in Health Ministries Association, Inc.
    2. In the Comments Section put Faith United to End Childhood Obesity
  • Complete all other questions

By enrolling in this manner, it will be possible to track the participation of HMA members. Very soon, Vinny DeMarco or Andrew Hysell (Campaign for Healthy Kids) will be contacting you to discuss your interest, capacity and goals for this activity.

In addition to connecting to the Let’s Move! website, participants are asked to focus on the approach and principals of Tennessee’s Targeted School Health Program. Six states have been “targeted” to begin identifying local leaders who can participate. Those targeted states are: Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and Wisconsin. If you are in one of the targeted states, HMA highly encourages you to consider volunteering to get the word out to your community to join this national effort. You can do this by contacting the HMA office at info@hmassoc.org. Your HMA leadership will also be personally contacting members in these states to discuss how to provide support and assistance and other possibilities for getting involved.

Thank you for all that you do within your faith communities and for being interested and involved in this important and critical initiative. Now HMA, LET’S MOVE!

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Advocacy Update: Faith United to End Childhood Obesity 2/29/12

By Vinnie DeMarco

HMA and our partner, national faith groups in the Faith United To End Childhood Obesity coalition are working to encourage states to implement Targeted Coordinated School Health (TCSH) programs which have a
track record of helping to reduce childhood obesity. HMA President, Marlene Feagan, joined thirty-three other top national faith leaders in sending a letter to all the nation’s governors urging them to emulate a bipartisan TCSH program that has been working successfully in Tennessee for the past few years.

You can help us by submitting an OPED to your local paper in support of adopting such a program. Attached for you is a draft (if you would like an editable version of this letter please email the HMA office, subject line: OPED Word Document). Working with experts at the Campaign For Healthy Kids, we would be happy to help you adapt this draft to your local circumstances and try to get it published. Though we would love to have any of you submit an OPED, we are particularly interested in help from those of you in the following key states where the Campaign For Healthy Kids is planning intensive follow up to the faith leaders’ letter to the Governors: California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon and Tennessee. If you want to submit an OPED or find our more please contact Vincent DeMarco, the National Coordinator of Faith United To End Childhood Obesity at demarco@mdinitiative.org, 410-591-9162.[divider type=”image”]

Update: Working with the National Faith United to End Childhood Obesity Campaign 10/7/11

On September 22, 2011 members of your HMA leadership attended the second national Faith Summit in Washington, D.C. Also present were other national faith leaders from numerous denominations and multifaith organizations from across the country. We also had the opportunity to learn more about the successful Coordinated School Health Program in Tennessee as well as information shared by representatives from Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

At the Summit it was announced the letter to the Governors was mailed on Sept. 21, urging them to adopt the Coordinated School Health (CSH) program that has been successful in Tennessee. The campaign hopes that many Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and public health advocates across the country will follow up with their governor to urge them to follow TN’s model. To assist you with this process we attached several items for reference:

In addition to the letter, a list of ten key states for the initial, concentrated launching of the campaign was announced. The states chosen are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

HMA will be working with the campaign to connect them with our regional and network contacts in these states in the coming weeks. If your state is not on the list, it does not mean your work is not important or that the campaign is not committed to working with all groups interested in reducing childhood obesity in other areas.

For more information on the campaign just visit the Campaign for Health Kids website or contact Clark Hansen or Susan White as listed below:

Eastern States
Susan White
Associate Director
1631 Barracks Dr
Gilbert, SC 29054
(803)738-6829

Western States
Clark Hansen
4343 Anna Lane
Wenatchee, Washington 98801
(509)433-8883