In the Community
April 16, 2010
Michelle Obama Promotes ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign in San Diego, Lauds Kaiser Permanente
SAN DIEGO — Two Kaiser Permanente executives attended a community event in San Diego featuring First Lady Michelle Obama to build support for her agenda of childhood obesity prevention — an agenda that Kaiser Permanente supports and shares.
Close to 200 people toured a community farm with the First Lady to promote her “Let’s Move!&rdquo campaign and a new partnership between it and The California Endowment. Kaiser Permanente and The California Endowment are among the cofounders of the Partnership For a Healthier America, which shares Michelle Obama’s goal to curb childhood obesity within a generation.
Among the attendees Thursday were Jeffrey Weisz, MD, executive medical director for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in San Diego. Both said they were pleasantly surprised to hear the First Lady speak so positively about Kaiser Permanente.
&ldquoWhen I shook her hand and said I was from Kaiser Permanente, she thanked me, said she was impressed with what we’re doing, and said ‘I know you’ve already been doing all of this for such a long time,’” Barnes said.
Dr. Weisz said he was pleased to hear the First Lady talk repeatedly about the importance of nutrition and prevention. “She said it was about time that (the United States) invested in prevention — which we have done for years — and it was great to hear her say that,” he said. “She talked quite a bit about the importance of creating more access to grocery stores and farmers markets so people have more chances to buy the right foods.”
Obama toured the New Roots Community Farm in the City Heights area of San Diego. The event was held to announce a partnership between Let’s Move! and The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative, which works to place healthy food into schools, create programs to reduce drug, alcohol and tobacco use, reduce environmental hazards, and other programs focused on the health of children. Many of those are aligned with Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Initiatives for Healthy Eating and Active Living, which emphasize public health interventions, policy change, organizational practices, and the community conditions that influence health.
Joining Kaiser Permanente and The California Endowment as cofounders of the Partnership for a Healthier America are the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nemours, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. More can be read about the partnership at www.ahealthieramerica.org.