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For Immediate Release: December 8, 2011

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin Holds First Regional Meeting in Chicago on National Prevention Strategy to Support Successful Health Care Reform

The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin will speak in Chicago about the nation’s first National Prevention Strategy, which seeks to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. An integral part of health care reform, Dr. Benjamin will call on Illinois community leaders and public officials to take apledge, committing themselves to do what they can to make healthier choices easier choices for themselves and the people in the communities they serve.

The website IllinoisHealthMatters.org, a project of Health & Disability Advocates and its partners, will leverage its’ reach within the state and serve as a portal to connect people, businesses and organizations to sign on to the prevention pledge. Illinois Health Matters is a non-partisan source of comprehensive information for Illinois residents and businesses about how the Affordable Care Act (health care reform) will affect, and is already affecting, them. The pledge, and more information about the National Prevention Strategy is hosted by Community Commonsand managed by Health & Disability Advocates and theTrust for America’s Health.

“The National Prevention Strategy brings all 17 federal agencies together for the first time to work toward a shared goal of improving the health of Americans,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America’s Health and chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. “Where we live, learn, work and play all have a major impact on our health. The National Prevention Strategy creates win-win strategies for improving health at the same time we’re improving housing, education, the economy, productivity, military readiness and the environment. These strategies will help make healthy choices easier for Americans.”

Barbara Otto, CEO of Health & Disability Advocates, who also serves on the Advisory Group, adds “Everyone – businesses, educators, health care institutions, government, communities and every single American – plays a role in creating a healthier nation.”

The National Prevention Strategy, provides a transformational vision of prevention that ranges from traditional clinical services to community change to address the policies and structures that affect healthy choices. It is an unprecedented commitment that provides a call to action and recognition that all agencies of the federal government have a role to play – and by extension – all levels of government and all sectors of society.

About Illinois Health Matters 
Illinois Health Matters is a one-stop resource for information on national health care reform in Illinois, and provides clear, expert information around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as commentaries, resources and a blog for individuals, small businesses, community organizations, media and policymakers. Funding for Illinois Health Matters is generously provided by lead donor, The Chicago Community Trust and managed by Health & Disability Advocates in partnership with a collaborative of Illinois health policy and community-based organizations: AARP of Illinois, AgeOptions, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Campaign for Better Health Care, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition, Illinois PIRG Education Fund, and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. 
Web: http://www.illinoishealthmatters.org 
Twitter: @ILHealthMatters

About Health & Disability Advocates 
Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) is a national nonprofit that employs public-private partnerships to improve access to jobs, education and healthcare in Illinois and throughout the U.S. Our family of initiatives include: Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, National Consortium of Health Systems Development, Illinois Connections Military Family Project, SSI Homeless Outreach Project, Make Medicare Work Coalition, ThinkBeyondtheLabel.com and IllinoisHealthMatters.org. 
Web: http://www.hdadvocates.org 
Twitter: @hdadvocates

Contact

Elle Hogan
202-223-9870 x21
ehogan@tfah.org