Follow the Journey
Follow Dr. Benjamin as she journeys across the country promoting the National Prevention Strategy and engaging communities in walks, dances, and physical activities
Dr. Benjamin had a taste of Chicago’s healthy schools as she visited Nathanael Greene Elementary School along with representatives from the Healthy Schools Campaign. Dr. Benjamin spent the day with students, members of Parents United for Healthy Schools, local leaders and volunteers to experience work Chicago schools are doing to create healthy learning environments. She chopped fresh salad greens with 5th graders, planted vegetables in the school garden with 2nd graders and joined students in indoor recess activities. She met with parents from around the city to discuss parent-led involvement in healthy schools. At lunch, Dr. Benjamin met with local leaders to enjoy a healthy meal that was developed by students as part of the Cooking Up Change competition.
Read more about the Surgeon General’s visit on the Department of Education’s blog post, Surgeon General Tastes Healthy Schools’ Recipe in Chicago.
Dr. Benjamin enjoys a performance from student folkloric dancers with students from Nathanael Greene Elementary School.
At the 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities, Dr. Benjamin delivered opening remarks expressing the importance of prevention and the role of the National Prevention strategy in addressing health disparities. The summit engaged public health practitioners, partners and the public in an educational forum exploring ways to collaborate with stakeholders at all levels to achieve national health goals and to integrate health promotion and disease prevention across multiple sectors.
The Office of the Surgeon General hosted a plenary session to show how National Prevention Council departments are working together to address health disparities as part of the National Prevention Strategy. Leaders from four National Prevention Council departments participated in a discussion moderated by Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
B. Suzi Ruhl, Senior Attorney Advisor for the Office of Environmental Justice; Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration; Dr. Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Dr. Robert Jesse, Deputy Under Secretary of Health of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
A second plenary session showed how every sector – including state and local governments, the business community, philanthropy, community organizations – can play a role in implementing the National Prevention Strategy. Leaders from these sectors participated in a discussion moderated by Dr. Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of Trust for America’s Health:
Dr. Carlessia Hussein, Director of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; David Fukuzawa, Program Director for Health at the Kresge Foundation; Audrietta Izlar, Benefits Manager for Health Improvement Initiatives at Verizon Communications; and Dr. Vivek Murthy, President of Doctors for America.
To highlight the September 10, 2012 launch of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the Surgeon General delivered a keynote at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Second Annual Mental Health and Media Awards November 8,2012 in Pittsburgh. Dr. Benjamin emphasized that all Americans should take an active part in suicide prevention.
Dr. Benjamin speaking at the Second Annual Mental Health and Media Awards
The Surgeon General was in Detroit on October 11-12, 2012 for a series of meetings and events on the National Prevention Strategy:
- Metropolitan Detroit Interfaith Meeting on the National Prevention Strategy, hosted by Project Healthy Living and Second Ebenezer Church. Dr. Benjamin spoke about the National Prevention Strategy, and a panel of four local faith leaders, faith-based health care organizations, and consumer advocates discussed opportunities to promote prevention and preventive services within faith communities.
- Community Leaders Meeting, hosted by HHS Region V and the Henry Ford Health System. Representatives from three federal agencies (Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Labor) discussed their departmental commitments to the National Prevention Strategy and their activities in the region. Representatives from philanthropy (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Skillman Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) spoke about opportunities to advance the goals of the National Prevention Strategy through community partnerships. Approximately 150 community leaders from the Detroit area attended the meeting and engaged in discussion about opportunities to advance cross-sector collaboration to move the National Prevention Strategy forward in Detroit.
- Business Forum, hosted by Business Forward, the Detroit Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council.
- Surgeon General’s Walk. Dr. Benjamin ended the events in Detroit with a visit to students from Munger Pre-K to 8 school. While there, she joined students for a farm-to-table healthy lunch, enjoyed a tour of the new school, and engaged in some physical activity and fun by line dancing with the students and leading a “Surgeon General’s Walk” around the school’s campus. More than 1,000 walkers participated.
Dr. Benjamin leading students and the community during the October 12, 2012, “Surgeon General’s Walk” at Detroit’s Munger School. Over 1,000 people participated in the event to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles
Dr. Benjamin spoke at the release of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s new Health Promotion and Wellness campaign. Dr. Benjamin joined leaders from the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense aboard the USS Bataan in Norfolk, VA to celebrate the new campaign, which is based on the 7 priorities of the National Prevention Strategy.
By implementing this campaign, the Navy and Marine Corps will increase their fitness and readiness to serve.
Dr. Benjamin is joined by members of the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Command and the USS Bataan for the release of a new campaign to support health, wellness, and readiness in our Sailors and Marines
The Surgeon General addressed attendees of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health-Advances in Neurological Therapeutics Medical Education Conference about brain trauma. Dr. Benjamin identified brain trauma as a critical public health issue and discussed the importance of research on the topic in setting public health policy, consistent with the National Prevention Strategy’s focus on Injury Free Living.
The Surgeon General attended a Day of Play in New Ulm, MN, where she joined over 500 community members for a day of physical activity and fun. Dr. Benjamin spoke about the power of prevention and the importance of finding joy in health.
As part of the Healthy Minnesota: Communities in Action meeting, The Surgeon General spoke with community leaders from across the state about the importance of prevention and how the National Prevention Strategy can help create healthy communities. The meeting highlighted ongoing work to improve the health of communities in Minnesota, and a panel discussed opportunities to build on these efforts to promote prevention.
The Surgeon General gave closing remarks at the National Conference of Tobacco or Health. The conference’s purpose was to help improve and sustain effectiveness and reach of tobacco control programs and activities in the United States. More than 2,000 tobacco control and health advocates from across the United States gathered in Kansas City to speak about how tobacco use hurts our gift of health.
Dr. Benjamin with National Council on Tobacco or Health meeting organizers
Dr. Benjamin speaking at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health
Dr. Benjamin met with students, educators, public health professionals, and policymakers for a Town Hall meeting on Youth and Tobacco. Participants discussed how to enhance existing efforts and devise new strategies to help youth resist pressures to start using tobacco. This meeting is part of a broader effort to prevent children from starting to use tobacco and to help current tobacco users quit. Dr. Benjamin also joined leadership from Seattle University to support their efforts to become a tobacco-free college campus.
Seattle Town Hall Meeting on Youth and Tobacco
Dr. Benjamin was joined by Secretary Diana Dooley, California Health and Human Service Agency, and other leaders in public health and prevention in Sacramento, California for the release the National Prevention Council Action Plan. The Action Plan is the next step in the federal implementation of the National Prevention Strategy, a comprehensive plan to tackle such issues as obesity, tobacco use, health disparities and chronic disease. The National Prevention Council Action Plan includes, for the first time, shared commitments from all of the 17 Federal Departments on the National Prevention Council to increase tobacco free environments and access to healthy, affordable foods and to identify additional opportunities to consider prevention and health by their agencies. Dr. Benjamin hosted a roundtable with the California Endowment and the Prevention Institute to discuss progress from the first year of the National Prevention Strategy and to identify opportunities to expand the impact of the Strategy.
The Surgeon General at the Release of the National Prevention Council Action Plan in Sacramento
The Surgeon General leads community “Walk to Wellness” around Capitol Hill
As a part of The American Public Health Association’s 2012 National Public Health Week (NPHW), Dr. Benjamin traveled to Aurora, Colorado to lead a one-mile fitness walk with 40 Denver-area mayors, health organizations, community members, medical students and news media on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. More than 400 enthusiastic walkers, including babies in strollers and family pets, took part and heard the Surgeon General‘s messages about the importance prevention and enjoyable ways to become and stay healthy. Following the Walk, Dr. Benjamin toured the Campus’s new Colorado Health and Wellness Center.
Colorado Center for Health and Wellness NPHW walk
The Surgeon General was in Boston on March 20-23, 2012 for a series of meetings and events on the National Prevention Strategy including:
- Community Partners in Prevention meeting attended by Governor Deval Patrick, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby - Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Christie Hager - HHS Regional Director for Region 1, Sandra Henriquez – Assistance Secretary for Public and Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and some 250 people from the community.
- Kick Butts Day event at the Massachusetts State House with 250 students involved in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Youth Tobacco Control Movement, public health officials, and legislators.
- Women’s Business Round Table “Chicks in Charge.”
- Prevention and the Affordable Care Act at Harvard Medical School with around 250 health professionals.
- Regional National Prevention Council meeting with representatives of 11 federal departments, Commissioners of Health from New England states, and regional representatives from 10 HHS agencies.
- An address to the Massachusetts Senate.
- Walk Boston event attended by more than 200 people.
- Mass in Motion – a celebration of the local Community Transformation Grant (CTG) at Somerville, with state and local public health officials, Joseph Curtatone – the Mayor of Somerville, CTG awardees, and around 400 people.
- Media interviews.
Kick Butts Day event at the Massachusetts State House
Walk Boston event
Surgeon General's Evening Walk.
Raleigh, NC The Surgeon General was in Raleigh on January 26-27, 2012 for a series of meetings and events on the National Prevention Strategy including:
- A morning session at the NC State Health Directors’ Conference comprising a keynote address from the Surgeon General and a panel discussion lead by Dr Jeff Levi, Chair of the National Prevention Advisory Group.
- A Business Forward meeting with 35 business representatives from the area.
- A Surgeon General’s Walk on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, organized in conjunction with the Carolina Godiva Track Club.
- A Tobacco Town Hall meeting organized by the Tobacco Control and Prevention Branch of the NC Department of Public Health.
- A statewide phone call to health advocates on prevention, tobacco and obesity with the NC Alliance for Health.
- A site visit to USPHS Corps members at Butner Federal Medical Center.
- Media interviews with local TV and local radio.
Chicago, IL - The Surgeon General was in Chicago on December 6-8, 2011 for the first Regional Meeting on the National Prevention Strategy. Over 150 people from regional offices of federal agencies, state and local government, business, community groups and communities of faith attended the meeting on December 8.
The National Prevention Strategy was also highlighted in Chicago through:
- A media event with the Chicago Department of Public Health to announce that the YMCA has committed to meet physical activity and nutrition standards for after-school care and to make all of their campuses smoke free.
- A keynote address to the Public-Private Collaboration on Prevention to some 100 business people.
- Remarks to the Governor’s Meeting on Ageing about the National Prevention Strategy.
- A breakfast with local funders of prevention projects, who have committed to do more to support local initiatives in this area.
- Remarks to the Annual Meeting of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators on prevention and e-health.
- An activity event at the Boys and Girls Club with the Chicago Bulls, Donna Richardson Joyner, and Cornell McClellan.
- Media interviews with local TV and local radio.
HHS employees joined the Surgeon General for Zumba on the Plaza.