Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Feb 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill MonningYou serve as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, where, among other things, you have focused on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  What is the latest with this act, and what is happening in this area at the national level?

Each year, seven out of 10 American deaths are caused by chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. These same chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of our nation's healthcare spending. The most distressing part is that these diseases could have been prevented. 

By addressing the causes of chronic disease and the factors that influence health, research indicates that the nation can move from a focus on treating sickness and disease to one that promotes wellness and prevention. A comprehensive community-wide health promotion and disease prevention plan can deter chronic diseases and reduce overall healthcare costs. 

The federal ACA created the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (National Prevention Council), which is charged with providing coordination and leadership at the federal level and among all executive agencies regarding prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices. It is comprised of 17 federal agency heads and is chaired by the Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin. 

On June 13, I attended the release of the National Prevention Council's Action Plan (Action Plan) by Surgeon General Benjamin, which details the next steps in the federal implementation of the National Prevention Strategy. This comprehensive Action Plan will help keep Americans healthy at every stage of life in the following seven priority areas: healthy eating; active living; injury-and violence-free living; tobacco-free living; reproductive and sexual health; mental and emotional well-being; and, preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use.

Just as the National Prevention Strategy has increased awareness of the value of health promotion and disease prevention, the Action Plan further supports a comprehensive federal approach by including commitments to do the following within federal departments: Identify opportunities to consider prevention and health; increase tobacco free environments; and, increase access to healthy, affordable food.

I encourage all those who are interested in learning more about the newly released National Prevention Council's Action Plan, to visit healthcare.gov/prevention/nphpphc.

What is the state doing with regard to community-wide health promotion and disease prevention? 

Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown created the Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force through an Executive Order to reduce the individual, social and economic burdens of preventable and chronic conditions and improve the health of all Californians, making the goals a priority for the state. 

The Let's Get Healthy Task Force is charged with producing a written report by Dec. 15, 2012, that establishes a 10-year plan to inform and assist local organizations in chronic disease prevention efforts that will advance community-wide health promotion and disease prevention.

Along with individuals representing patients and consumers, healthcare providers, health plans, employers, community-based organizations, foundations, and organized labor, I attended the first Let's Get Healthy Task Force meeting earlier this month. We began to develop a statewide strategy and a 10-year plan that will establish baseline data and target goals for reducing chronic conditions. To find out more information, please visit the Let's Get Healthy Task Force website at chhs.ca.gov.

Locally, I anticipate that the 10-year plan released by the Let’s Get Healthy Task Force will be used by government agencies, schools, businesses, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations to enhance and build on their current efforts. Our region is ahead of other areas within the state and I applaud all of those who are advancing health promotion and disease prevention in our communities. 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots