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Partners HealthCare promotes healthy living in Salem with gift to tackle obesity

Posted by Justin Rice  March 12, 2012 07:39 AM

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Photo courtesy of Partners HealthCare

From left to right, Ronnie Sanders, Director for Community Health at Partners HealthCare, Tim Short, Recreation Supervisor for the City of Salem, Doug Bollen, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services for Salem, Cheryl Bartlett, Director, Bureau of Community Health and Prevention at the MA Department of Public Health, and Larry Ramdin, Salem Health Agent.


The following is a press release from Partners Health Care:


Partners HealthCare today announced that it is committing $240,000 to the City of Salem to help that community design and implement local programs that will improve the health of its residents and ultimately help slow the growth in health care spending.  The funding will enable Salem to become a ‘Mass in Motion’ community in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  Mass in Motion is a state initiative that aims to promote wellness and to prevent obesity in Massachusetts - with a particular focus on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

“Partners is committed to supporting and working with the communities that we serve to craft tailor-made, localized programs that foster wellness and help to reduce the incidence of chronic disease,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., President and CEO of Partners HealthCare.  “Working together with local leaders, we can improve the quality of life for local residents, improve the overall health of the community and make health care more affordable in the long term.”

The four year gift will enable the city of Salem to build a community-based coalition consisting of city officials, health center and physician leaders as well as other stakeholders to identify Salem’s most pressing health needs and develop policies and solutions to address those needs.  The goal is to promote community-wide awareness about health behavior and to begin to change individual behaviors and choices.

“Raising awareness about obesity and nutrition will make our community stronger and healthier,” said Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor of Salem.  “Working closely with the community, we have a great opportunity to help our residents learn about the importance of wellness and prevention – making our community healthier for generations to come.”
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“I want to thank Partners for making a commitment to Salem’s long term health,” said Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry.  “This substantial award will span a 4-year period allowing for proper development of a healthy living program that will benefit Salem residents for years to come.”

“I am excited for Salem to become a ‘Mass in Motion’ community” said State Representative John Keenan. “Communities, schools, and workplaces have a major impact on overall health.  This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about how making good food choices and increasing physical activity can prevent illness and promote well-being.”

Partners gift to Salem is one of just four gifts announced today.  The gift complements community health and wellness outreach in Salem by North Shore Medical Center, a member of Partners healthcare serving the city.  Additionally, Partners made similar commitments to the cities of Lynn, Chelsea and Revere.  The gifts help expand the number of communities participating in the Mass in Motion initiative and expand efforts to address obesity and promote healthy living.  A recent Department of Public Health study showed that in Massachusetts:

•    More than 50% of adults and nearly 33% of high school and middle students are overweight or obese.
•    According to the CDC, in Massachusetts, $1.8 billion of medical expenses are due to adult obesity.
•    Black adults were 60% more likely to be obese, and Hispanic adults were 50% more likely to be obese than their White counterparts.
•    More than two-thirds of adults are not eating the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables.
•    In the past decade, the percentage of adults with diabetes has doubled (3.8% - 7.4%).

For more information on Mass in Motion efforts statewide, click here.








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