Overweight and obesity are reaching epidemic proportions among American residents. NIHCM Foundation, under two cooperative agreements with the CDC, is at the forefront of exploring and disseminating private sector initiatives in combatting this important public health problem. NIHCM Foundation is working with a number of partners with a specific interest of increasing evidence-based obesity and weight management programs. For more information and for publications, visit Obesity Publications.
NIHCM/CDC Leadership Forum – "Obesity Prevention and Control: Building the Evidence Base"- March 10, 2006, Atlanta, GA
NIHCM Foundation’s report, Health Plans Emerging as Pragmatic Partners in Fight Against Obesity, highlighted leading health plans’ obesity prevention and treatment initiatives. A central theme emerged: the body of research on obesity reduction programs is sparse, hindering health plans’ development of evidence-based programs. Evaluation of existing programs is critical and the joint involvement of private health plans and CDC is necessary to determine what actually works and how to spread evidence-based initiatives to other plans.
In response, NIHCM Foundation convened a small group of public and private sector experts in obesity reduction programs for a half-day Leadership Forum. The purpose of the forum was to engage key health plan directors and senior CDC officials in a discussion to encourage the broader adoption of effective obesity prevention and reduction activities among private-sector health plans. The forum included brief presentations by plan participants, with the majority of time spent in dialogue between health plan directors and CDC leadership on the key issues listed below.
Key Issues Addressed:
- Communicated to CDC what health plans are doing in response to the obesity crisis;
- Shared information about innovative strategies in fighting obesity;
- Shared information about health plan evaluations and/or barriers to evaluation of obesity related programs;
- Helped CDC collaborate with health plans to improve the national obesity response.
- CDC participants: National Center for Health Marketing - Peter Briss, MD; Lisa Koonin, MN, MPH; Mary Sue Lancaster, RN; Andrew Lanza, MPH, MSW; Jennifer Ludovic, MPH; Toby Merlin, MD; Bonnie Zell, MD; National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion - William Dietz, MD; George Mensah, MD; Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH.
- Health plan participants: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield - Raymond Bredfeldt, MD, Medical Director, Northwest Region; Highmark Inc. – Carey Vinson, MD, MPM, Vice President, Quality and Medical Performance; Janice Seigle, MPM, Strategic Corporate Initiatives Director; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey - Premila Kumar, MD, Senior Clinical Manager, Disease Management Programs; Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina - Robert Harris, MD, SVP, Healthcare and Chief Medical Officer; BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee – Sandra Bunting, RN, Senior Manager, Clinical Network Management; Ken Patric, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Commercial Business and Established Markets Division; Wellpoint, Inc. - Lakshmi Dhanvantari, MD, Staff Vice President Medical Director, State Sponsored Business; Lisa Latts, MD, MBA, Vice President, Programs in Clinical Excellence; Harvinder Sareen, PhD, MPH, Director, Clinical Programs, State Sponsored Business.
- Public Health Informatics Institute: Anita Renahan-White, MPH, Project Director.
- NIHCM Foundation: Nancy Chockley, MBA, President and CEO; Jason Lee, PhD (meeting facilitator), Director for Research and Policy.
NIHCM Foundation prepared a brief as background information for forum participants entitled "Tackling Obesity Through Public-Private Collaboration."
NIHCM Foundation also created a 1-page synthesis table summarizing currently available evidence on Physical Activity and Nutrition intervention programs, "The Evidence Base: How to Prevent Obesity and Manage Weight Gain Through Increased Physical Activity and Improved Nutrition."
NIHCM Foundation prepared and disseminated this Meeting Brief, which highlights and describes the major findings from the Leadership Forum.