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Prevention Institute

August 25th, 2011

Health Reform Rapid Response: the conversation on prevention

With August Recess winding down, we want to make sure that our legislators continue to hear about the good prevention work our communities are accomplishing. It is up to all of us to speak up and make sure that we are actively shaping the dialogue around community prevention, so that the media and our legislators can understand what we already know: prevention works.

Here is just a sampling of the media coverage our community has accomplished so far during the recess:

The stories

  • In an op-ed in the Wisconsin State Journal, "Getting kids to eat their vegetables," health educator Maggie Smith captures her community’s resolve to develop local solutions to better the health of their children: “The success that La Crosse County and others implementing Farm to School programs are enjoying could never happen without the commitment, dedication and contributions from the wider community.”
  • In the Portland Tribune,"We all have a stake in fighting obesity," public health officer Dr. Gary Oxman pens an op-ed effectively responding to a piece that ignored the environment’s role in shaping our health: “…obesity didn’t just 'hit' our community. It took decades of complex and often subtle shifts in what children eat and how much they move.”
  • In a Miami Herald feature, “Miami-Dade initiatives target childhood obesity,” Penny Parham, Miami-Dade Public Schools’ food and nutrition director, deftly cues the environment first when describing her program’s goals: “We need to give our kids the best foods from which to select and then teach them to want to make the right selections.”
  • New options in store at two tienditas” in the San Antonio-Express News highlights why changing the environment in San Antonio is crucial to changing behaviors and ultimately health outcomes: “People buy what's available. It's easier to walk across the corner to pick up (whole) milk instead of taking two buses in 100-degree weather to buy skim at H-E-B.”

Tips to guide your conversation
It’s not too late to broadcast your community’s successes, too. Here are the core messages we need to share with legislators and media alike:

  • Community prevention is evidence-based.
  • Community prevention is local.
  • Prevention is good for business.
  • Government has a role in public health.
  • The American people want prevention.

We’ve compiled all of our media advocacy resources, including talking points, sample op-eds, and messaging and framing strategies in one easy-to-use Media Advocacy Toolkit for your review.

What you can do

Contact your Legislator today

Send a letter to a Member of Congress to educate your legislator about the importance and value of community prevention. Prevention Institute provides easy-to-use, tailored e-mails that you can send directly to your legislator.

Win a free copy of Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing

'Like’ Prevention Institute on Facebook this week for a chance to win a free copy of our landmark textbook, Prevention is Primary. We’ll give away copies to five randomly selected Facebook fans who become part of the community this week. More importantly, you’ll have a chance to connect, share resources and discover vital prevention information.

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