The Food and Water System: Agriculture, Access, and Sustainability Track Submissions
1. Identify and discuss policy, system, and environmental approaches that are needed to ensure a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food and water system.
2. Describe how to ensure healthy food and water system that is accessible and viable for everyone.
3. Describe how a healthy food and water system can create economic opportunities.
The Food and Water System: Agriculture, Access and Sustainability track theme is cultivating a sustainable and equitable food and water system that is aligned with national dietary and health priorities and assures healthful food and beverages are the easiest choices for all now and in the future. Proposals within this track should describe innovative policy, system or environmental approaches and solutions that create a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food and water system that supports healthful food and beverages as easier choices for all Americans. Systematic solutions may address any component of the food and water system - including agriculture, land use, production, processing, distribution, retail, and access - and the relationship of each component to health.
The American Public Health Association has defined a sustainable food system as “one that provides healthy food to meet current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food for generations to come, with minimal negative impact to the environment; encourages local production and distribution infrastructures; makes nutritious food available, accessible, and affordable to all; is humane and just—protecting farmers and other workers, consumers, and communities”. The water system encompasses safe drinking water (e.g., free of contaminants) in schools and throughout the community setting, including homes.
Topic areas addressed in these sessions may include (but are not limited to): economic development and the food and water system; social and food justice; federal/state/local food and water system policies and their relationships to each other; youth leadership and engagement in solutions, urban/rural community development; farm-to-where-you-are (e.g., farm-to-institution, farmers markets, etc.), food policy councils; healthier food retail; economic opportunities for new businesses, new farms, and small farms; agricultural land use; local, state, and federal policies and legislation; diverse and ecologically sound production practices; infrastructure for processing and distribution (including transportation and storage, development and expansion of food cooperatives and food hubs); access to safe drinking water; access or lack thereof to healthier foods; food (in)security and food assistance programs; and connecting urban and rural food systems.
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Built Environment and Transportation Track Submissions
1. Identify building, site design and land use policies that promote physical activity and healthy diet.
2. Identify practical transportation system policies and designs that promote physical activity.
3. Describe and use practical tools for assessing potential health and economic benefits to proposed changes in building design, land use or transportation systems.
Session proposals for this track should describe innovative built environment and transportation related strategies with demonstrated benefits for obesity prevention and control. Examples include, but are not limited to, transportation, land use or design policies, infrastructure, or development projects at a building/single-site, neighborhood, city, or regional scale demonstrated to increase rates of physical activity, healthy eating or the policies and environments that are known to influence these behaviors. Potential topics include but are not limited to: architecture, community/urban design/suburban retrofit; land use; transportation; health impact assessments and other practical tools.
Practical methods and strategies for implementing built environment and transportation projects and/or policies to promote physical activity and healthy eating should be emphasized. Projects can focus on promotion of physical activity (recreational or utilitarian), healthy eating, or a combination.
Graphic and/or Multi-media Presentations:
Increased focus within architecture, urban design, and urban planning on developing built environments and transportation systems that help promote physical activity and healthy eating is yielding tremendous innovation. A special session and/or exhibit within this overall track will highlight real-world examples of buildings, community development, suburban retrofit, or urban-scale projects specifically designed to encourage physical activity and/or healthy eating. Submissions for this session should be in the form of high-quality graphical or multi-media presentations (e.g. posters, video, web-based resource, etc).
Early Care and Education Track Submissions
Theme: Building Blocks to Transform Early Care and Education (ECE)
1. Understand the importance of the Early Care and Education setting for obesity prevention using policy, system, and environmental changes.
2. Identify the spectrum of opportunities for obesity prevention in Early Care and Education at the federal, state, local, and facility-levels including previous practices that build on innovative and/or emerging initiatives.
3. Learn how to leverage available resources and access tools for successful initiatives.
4. Learn how to develop networks for collaboration and action both within the Early Care and Education System and across other settings (e.g. healthcare, school, workplaces, public and private, etc).
Proposals within this track should describe innovative and sustainable policy, system and environmental approaches for obesity prevention in the early care and education (ECE) setting through improved nutrition, breastfeeding, physical activity and/or screen media time. Approaches of interest include, but are not limited to, CDC’s ‘Spectrum of Opportunities for Obesity Prevention in ECE’: licensing and administrative regulations; Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS); facility-level interventions (e.g. Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care; Color Me Healthy; I am Moving, I am Learning; Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care; etc.); technical assistance; preservice and professional development; access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity (e.g. procurement cooperatives or other cost-effective approaches; farm to preschool; preschool gardens; and joint-use); funding and finance; early learning standards, and family engagement.
All submissions should include:
1. Cost/funding considerations (priority will be given to submissions that highlight low to no cost examples, use of nontraditional funding, or leveraging stable funding);
2. The degree to which initiatives lend support for families to improve practices within the home; and
3. Innovation and sustainability.
Laws and Legal Authorities
Theme: Striking Balance Between Public Health Mandates and Civil Liberties
1. Identify replicable legal strategies to prevent and reduce obesity.
2. Identify and leverage cutting edge legal approaches and legal tools to prevent and reduce obesity.
3. Increase coordination among lawyers and non-lawyers to achieve healthy eating, active living, and prevent obesity.
4. Effectively engage lawyers and nontraditional partners (e.g., transportation official, city planners) to implement legal strategies to prevent and reduce obesity.
The Laws and Legal Authorities track was established in recognition of public health law as a little understood but essential resource to U.S. public health practice. Public health laws are any laws that positively impact health outcomes, or through intent or omissions create barriers to improving health. Government entities that apply public health laws include agencies officially designated as "public health agencies," as well as court systems, and agencies focused on health-care, environmental protection, education, human services, land use planning and law enforcement, among others. An important outcome of laws and legal authorities is leveling of the playing field so social determinants of health are mitigated thereby increasing all persons’ opportunity to live a healthy life.
Sessions within this track will highlight core elements for the effective application of law to prevent and reduce obesity. Sessions will provide lessons-learned and insight on practical implementation that will enable participants to take action.
Proposals are sought that present innovative and/or impactful use of the law to promote public health through jurisdictional authority such as municipal code, city ordinance, state laws and regulations; case law or administrative hearings; and contracts and other binding agreements to create opportunities for, and promote healthy eating, active living, or to eliminate barriers such as obesity-related stigma and discrimination to make sustainable change.
· Public Health Law Competency: the abilities and skills practitioners (e.g., public health professionals, legal counsel, government agency administrators, judges, law enforcement officials) should have to access and understand the relevant laws and to actually apply them to obesity prevention.
· Cross Jurisdictional and Cross-Sectoral Coordination: legal authorities across the multiple sectors that bear on public health practice and policy and across the vertical dimension of local-state-federal-international jurisdictions. Coordination is critical precisely because the public health system is richly multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and cross-jurisdictional.
· Public Health Law Best Practices: information for practitioners’ use in shaping and applying public health laws. Examples include repositories of public health laws, updates on new enactments and judicial rulings, reports on innovations and public health law “best practices,” and public health law practice guidelines.
Medical Care Track Submissions
Theme: Transforming Health Care to Better Integrate Public Health
1. Identify policy and environmental strategies to improve care coordination, optimize value and quality, and better align incentives to improve care delivery and payment for obesity prevention and reduction.
2. Describe the policy, systems, and environmental factors that influence healthy behaviors in health and medical settings.
3. Identify policy, system and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity by applying cutting-edge practices to improve population health.
Track Session topics and criteria include but are not limited to:
Schools Track Submissions
Theme: Thriving in School: Healthy Children Learn and Live Better
Proposals within this track should describe innovative school-based policy, system and environmental approaches for obesity prevention (e.g. improving nutrition, physical activity and/or screen media time). Examples include but are not limited to nutrition or physical activity policy, systems and environmental change, such as successful and meaningful integration of health and learning, school wellness policies (e.g., nutrition standards for competitive foods, joint use agreements, safe routes to school), marketing healthy foods to students, quality physical education, comprehensive school physical activity programs, health services related to weight management, farm to school programs, after school programs, and healthy vending.Track Session topics include but are not limited to:
States & Communities Track Submissions
Theme: Implementing comprehensive, integrated and mutually supportive approaches to obesity prevention in states, territories, tribes and communities.
1. Develop a comprehensive approach to obesity prevention as one that includes strategies that address multiple levels of the socio-ecologic model across settings.
2. Engage stakeholders, especially impacted community members, to determine priorities, plan initiatives and coordinate implementation of obesity prevention efforts.
3. Lead an effort to identify and integrate strategies that have promise to improve health outcomes, especially for disproportionately impacted population groups, including developing infrastructure, capacity and resources to sustain comprehensive efforts.
4. Implement initiatives that build upon and incorporate key health indicators and use them to advocate for sustainability.
Session proposals within this track should describe comprehensive, integrated and mutually supportive approaches that include policy, systems and environmental strategies to address obesity prevention in states, territories, tribal and other communities. Submitted proposals should include components of the effort and how the components are connected to build a comprehensive approach; settings, stakeholders and reach into the priority population; efforts to build sustainable infrastructure and capacity; and, key indicators of success as well as barriers and lessons learned.
Workplace Track Submissions
Theme: Leading, Engaging, and Transforming Businesses for Better Health
1. Participants will learn the processes and strategies that create environments that promote health and well-being. This objective will address issues relevant to:
· Cultivating support for wellness among leadership at all levels of the organization - employee, middle manager, senior leader, formal and informal
· Engaging participants as part of planning and programming to increase participation and maintenance of healthy lifestyles.
· Understanding the elements of and approaches necessary to create a healthy workplace culture.
· Collaborating across workplace departments and business units (human resources, health benefits, safety, etc.) for health promotion and disease prevention and linking these efforts to the mission and business case for health promotion.
2. Participants will learn how workplaces may support and be supported by the broader community. This objective will address issues relative to:
· Employer utilization of public-private partnerships to improve the health of their employees and/or the broader community
· Principles of engagement and reaching common health goals through partnership.
· Positioning obesity prevention and control messages as an important component to achieve an overall healthy lifestyle and embedding/linking those messages to the reduction of injury, safety promotion, and reducing the risk of other chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc.).
Submissions within this track should describe innovative and effective workplace policies, systems, or environmental approaches to address obesity prevention and control. Emphasis should be on aspects of the work environment, culture, and/or organizational structures and systems where wellness is integrated into the culture or mission of the organization and includes one or more of the following: 1) engagement and leadership at all levels of the organization; 2) partnerships and outreach with the broader community; and/or 3) the application of evidenced-base strategies in the workplace that are scalable and may be replicated by others.