Day-long “Vermont Obesity Summit” Slated for October 31

10 Agencies, Institutions Joining Forces for Educational Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2005

CONTACT: VT Department of Health
Communication Office
802-863-7281

OR

Collin Parker
Communication Office
Fletcher Allen Public Affairs
802-847-2886

BURLINGTON – On Monday, October 31, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., dozens of key policy-makers, including Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, will convene at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington to address the topic of obesity in the state.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, approximately 36 percent of adult Vermonters are classified as overweight, and 19 percent are obese.

“Changing diet and exercise is not easy,” said Governor Jim Douglas, “but it can be done and is being done every day here in Vermont. We need to continue to provide people the tools and resources necessary to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long-term.”

The day-long event (agenda attached) will include several panel discussions, workshops, and a plenary session with representatives from local businesses, schools, and health care providers.

The keynote address, “Addressing Obesity Together,” will be given by Mark Fenton, host of the PBS television series America’s Walking.

Fenton is a consultant to the University of North Carolina’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, and instructor in the walkable community workshop series of the Washington D.C.-based National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

Among the agencies and institutions organizing the Vermont Obesity Summit are: the Champlain Initiative, Fletcher Allen Health Care, the Office of Vermont Health Access, the United Way of Chittenden County, the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the Vermont Department of Education, the Vermont Department of Health, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Other key attendees include Vermont Commissioner of Health Paul Jarris, M.D.; Dean of the UVM College of Medicine John Evans, Ph.D.; and Lisa Ventriss, President of the Vermont Business Roundtable.

Fletcher Allen President and Chief Executive Officer Melinda Estes, M.D., said, “If we are to succeed, all of us - as individuals, as parents, as community members, as health care providers, employers, and educators – must join in the effort to promote the positive effects of leading healthier lives.”