Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Women's Health and Environment Conference: Dr. Benjamin's Comments

Dr. Regina Benjamin is an amazing woman, daughter of a single mom and advocate for access to health care for all - poor, middle income. Primary experience in rural medicine in Louisiana, had to rebuild community health center after two hurricanes and a fire.

Community health is as important as individual health. Stress, clean air, access to walking paths/sidewalks, clean water, indoor toxins, financial woes.

Health Care Reform - We need to change from sick care to a well care system. Her goals are wellness and prevention. Obesity is one of our nation's most serious issues, especially among people of color. Two thirds of adults are overweight and obese. More children are obese, these issues will have an impact on long term health of kids. Partnering with First Lady's Let's Move initiative. We need to recreate our communities and environments around health choices, safe choices and affordable choices. We need to be more positive and fun in our approach. Supports daily gym classes, recess and healthy lunches in schools. Supports initiatives to make it easier for women to breast feed, reduces likelihood of obesity. $1B invested in wellness and prevention programs so far.

Clean Energy Economy - Clean energy promotes clean air, which reduces health impacts.

Youth Involvement - MIT working on a 200 mph vehicle, musician Pharrell making jeans from plastic,

Take Care of Yourself First - Dr. Benjamin says you need to do that.

Told the Starfish Story to close out her speech. Standing ovation.

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