142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Building a Social Movement to Become The Healthiest Nation in One Generation (Submitted by Members of the APHA Caucus Collaborative)

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
The United States (U.S.) is not #1. Not even “the top 20.” According to Bloomberg, the U.S. ranked #33 among the world's healthiest nations in 2012. We’re among the wealthiest nations in the world, but we’re far from the healthiest. We spend more per capita than any other nation, spending 17.6% of our gross domestic product on healthcare, 2.5 times the average of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. We rank 37th in healthcare spending efficiency. According to the Commonwealth Fund, we ranked #14 in preventable deaths per 100,000 population in 2002-3. According to a 2013 Institute of Medicine report, US residents have been dying at younger ages than people in almost all other high income countries, for more than three decades. The U.S. disadvantage spans many types of illness and injury: infant mortality and low birth weight; injuries and homicides; adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; HIV and AIDS; drug related deaths; obesity and diabetes; heart disease; chronic lung disease and disability. This is simply unacceptable. It is neither efficient, effective nor fair. At its 141st Annual Convention in 2013, we launched a national campaign to become the healthiest nation in one generation. If we want to achieve this goal by 2030, some say we need to build a social movement. Why? Because the social determinants of health are inadequately addressed. Race, ethnicity, limited English proficiency, poverty, homelessness, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, violence, political power, built environment, and community resiliency, matter. The reality is, the U.S.’ racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees, men and boys, women and girls, and LGBT populations experience health inequities, and if we don’t continue to prevent inequality, these inequities could reach a tipping point, and either galvanize communities, and/or worsen the future. For example, between 1970 to 2010, income inequality going to the top 1% doubled from 9% to 20%. Post-recession, poverty increased. Between 2007-2011, when the U.S.’ overall poverty rate increased 27%, the number of Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI), Latino, and Asian American (AA) poor emerged as the fastest growing poverty groups in America (increasing 60%, 42% and 37%, respectively). Discriminatory employment practices affect LGBT populations, women, and persons of color. Many futurists are concerned that there could be an even wider employment and social divide when America becomes 2% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 8% AA NHPI, 16% Black, 19% Latino and 55% Non-Hispanic White by 2030. On this 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the War on Poverty, members of the Caucus Collaborative invited some of the nation’s most influential thought leaders and movement builders to answer the question, “Why is the U.S. so unhealthy? Is inequality making us sick?” Speakers will talk about community action on the social determinants of health; how to turn a crisis into an opportunity for community resiliency; how to engage public health professions in individual, and community, actions that leverage the past and present to create a desired future; talk about the power of the millennial movement, technologic innovation, and the power of an “all-in” nation by 2050; and talk about how to build a global social movement for health that inspires community resilience, transcends one generation, and creates sustainable, transformational, resilient, individual and community change.
Session Objectives: Discuss if inequality is making us sick. Discuss why closing the inequality gap is essential to becoming the healthiest nation in one generation. Discuss the role of engagement, community resiliency, field, lobbying, and advertising, play in building momentum, and creating legislative change. Discuss how social movements from multiple stakeholders, and across all sectors, could enable the U.S. to become the healthiest nation in one generation.
Elena Ong, PHN, MS
Paula Braveman, MD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Food and Nutrition, Injury Control and Emergency Health Services, LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals, Peace Caucus, Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Public Health Nursing, Public Health Social Work, Women's Caucus, Cancer Forum, Breastfeeding Forum, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health, Black Caucus of Health Workers, Caucus on Homelessness, Chiropractic Health Care, Community Health Planning and Policy Development, Caucus on Refugee and Immigrant Health

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: APHA-Special Sessions