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Leadership For Healthy Communities Applauds the First Lady's Let's Move Cities and Towns Initiative

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, June 14 Leadership for Healthy Communities commends First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on the launch of "Let's Move Cities and Towns" -- the newest component of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative that seeks to empower mayors and other local leaders to combat childhood obesity through policies and programs that support healthier eating and increased physical activity.

Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works in collaboration with organizations representing mayors and other local and state leaders. By organizing conferences, and providing trainings and technical assistance, Leadership for Healthy Communities seeks to build and support policy champions who are making a positive difference in the effort to prevent childhood obesity in communities across the country.

Grantees under the Leadership for Healthy Communities program include the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; National Association of County and City Health Officials; National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund; National Association of State Boards of Education; National Conference of State Legislatures; National Congress of American Indians, National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

These groups are working to advance policy and program changes consistent with strategies outlined in the Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies for Healthy Communities Toolkit. Released last year and endorsed by eleven of the nation's most prominent policy-maker groups, the toolkit contains comprehensive, evidence-based policy strategies and environmental changes that serve as a framework for policy action for state, local and school leaders. The toolkit also contains examples of strategies that have been enacted in states across the country.

"We are pleased that the White House has highlighted the toolkit as a resource for policy-makers seeking to implement strategies where they live," said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Director of Leadership for Healthy Communities. "We stand ready to work with First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary Sebelius in the effort to mobilize elected and appointed leaders to implement strategies for healthier kids and communities."

For more information about the Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies toolkit, visit www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org/actionstrategies .

Leadership for Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation designed to support local and state government leaders nationwide in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic through public policies that promote active living, healthy eating and access to healthy foods. For more information, visit www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

CONTACT: Laura Ojeda (202) 265-5112 Email: Laura@leadershipforhealthycommunities.org

SOURCE Leadership for Healthy Communities
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