Policy Corner: ACSM to Meet with House Judiciary Committee Regarding Concussion Legislation
Powerful governmental partnerships continue to grow with meetings with HHS Office of Minority Health and USDA
On Dec. 17, ACSM will meet with the House Judiciary Committee to discuss ACSM initiatives on safety in youth sports, particularly concussion prevention and management. This meeting follows the Committee’s recent hearing about legal issues related to football head injuries, which featured testimony from Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and several retired NFL players.
ACSM has been advocating for increased awareness of brain injuries and concussions in youth sports, and supports the idea of federal legislation (similar to the Washington State concussion legislation) that would ensure safer conditions for players and proper treatment for head injuries. This meeting will provide ACSM the opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of safety in youth sports within the overall goals and missions of the Judiciary Committee and Congress. Look for a summary of the meeting in next week’s Policy Corner.
On Dec. 8 and 9, ACSM held a follow-up meeting (building on an original Sept. 22 visit) with staff from the Office of Minority Health (OMH), and visited with staff in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP).
The purpose of the meetings was to advance ACSM’s policy goals as well as identify potential opportunities for collaborations with influential federal agencies.
In the meeting with staff from OMH, Mirtha Beadle, OMH’s Deputy Director, strongly supported establishing a close partnership with ACSM. The partnership will ensure that coordination and collaboration occurs on many aspects of two very important plans that are currently being developed: the ACSM-supported National Physical Activity Plan and OMH’s “National Partnership for Action to end Health Disparities.” It was agreed that the two organizations would establish a Memorandum of Understanding to help define the relationship and identify possible actions that could be taken. In addition, OMH staff expressed an interest in participating in a workshop or panel discussion at ACSM’s upcoming Annual Meeting in Baltimore.
During the meeting with staff from the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which is charged with developing the nutrition guidelines every five years, ACSM suggested that the physical activity and nutrition communities increase their collaborative efforts on promoting the importance of healthy lifestyles. Dr. Robert Post, CNPP’s Deputy Director, expressed strong interest in working with ACSM, especially on ways to determine effective messaging for convincing people to adopt healthy lifestyles. In addition, CNPP’s staff is extremely interested in seeing ACSM become a partner in the MyPyramid initiative, USDA’s system to help Americans make healthy food choices and be active every day.