Policy Corner: ACSM Advocacy Update

ACSM supports evidence-based public policy that encourages healthy lifestyles and the safe enjoyment of sports and other physical activities. In addition, ACSM's members serve as expert resources for federal, state and local policy makers, ensuring that decisions are founded on the latest research. A brief recap of ACSM’s advocacy efforts in the first quarter of 2015 is below. For more information on these updates, please email mward@acsm.org.
  • Convened a webinar on the outlook for the 114th Congress. The panelists discussed changes in the makeup of Congress, outlook for the legislative agenda and the budget prospects. Panelists included Jim Whitehead, ACSM; Monte Ward, ACSM; Jennifer Zeitzer, FASEB; and Craig Piercy, Bose Public Affairs.

  • In partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), released a webinar regarding the policies and procedures of concussion management. Webinar featured expert panelists Stanley A. Herring, M.D., FACSM and Gerry A. Gioia.

  • ACSM conducted its 3rd annual Capitol Hill Day. In conjunction with the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s National Health Through Fitness Day, more than 45 ACSM members met with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss support for legislation that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle for all Americans.

  • Participated in the Partnership for a Healthier America “The Building a Healthier Future Summit.” The Summit is a gathering of health experts, policy makers and business and industry leaders committed to ending childhood obesity.

  • Joined more than 250 professionals in public health, education, government, and media at the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Congress. The Congress was convened to highlight important developments and opportunities in physical activity and public health and to engage participants in reviewing and proposing revisions to the National Physical Activity Plan.

  • Attended the board meeting of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) to discuss and prioritize legislative opportunities within the coalition. NCPPA is a diverse group of associations, health organizations and private corporations advocating for policies that promote physical activity for all Americans.

  • Signed onto a joint letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray in support of the inclusion of physical education as a “core” subject within the Elementary Secondary Education Act.

  • Participated in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) quarterly partner teleconference. This meeting provides an opportunity for DNPAO to update their partners on programs and activities, their anticipated impact, and outcomes on a regular basis. They also allow DNPAO to identify possible points of intersection with their partners’ priorities.

  • Met with the director of the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) and the director of the NIH Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) to discuss the importance of including a physical activity research program within the NIH Common Fund.

  • Attended the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation quarterly meeting. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is a coalition of more than 275 organizations helping families and schools fight childhood obesity.

  • Contacted 72 congressional offices during the first quarter.

  • Worked with Congressman Tim Ryan and other interested organizations to include a physical activity component to H.R. 1411, the ENRICH Act. As introduced, the bill requires the Health Resources and Services Administration to establish a program of three-year competitive grants to accredited medical schools for the development or expansion of an integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum.

  • Organized a Congressional Briefing for congressional staff and interested organizations on H.R. 1411, the ENRICH Act. James M. Hagberg, Ph.D., FACSM, testified during the briefing on behalf of ACSM.

  • Coordinated and supported the introduction of H.R. 1499, the Physical Activity Recommendations Act by Representatives Ron Kind and Pat Meehan. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish a report at least every 10 years that contains physical activity recommendations for the general public based on the most current scientific and medical knowledge, including information for population subgroups, as needed.