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 policymakers, ensuring that decisions are founded on the latest research. A brief recap of ACSM’s advocacy efforts in the second quarter of 2015 is below. For more information on these updates, please email mward@acsm.org.
  • Welcomed 70 ACSM members as new key contacts to the Health Science Policy Committee during ACSM's Annual Meeting. Key Contacts develop an ongoing relationship with their elected members of Congress, which allows ACSM to effectively communicate with Congress.
  • Attended the official commissioning ceremony for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Dignitaries in attendance included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell and former Surgeon General David Satcher.
  • Participated in the Breakfast of Champions sponsored by the Campaign to End Obesity. The event is organized to recognize members of Congress that have taken an active role in promoting physical activity and combating the nation's obesity issue.
  • Worked with the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Coalition to promote H.R. 1218, the Personal Health Investment Today Act. Efforts are underway to increase co-sponsors for the legislation and to find a sponsor in the Senate.
  • Met with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to discuss the Surgeon General's upcoming Call to Action on Walking and Walkability. Attending the meeting were ACSM President Carol Ewing Garber, ACSM CEO Jim Whitehead and ACSM VP for Government Relations Monte Ward.
  • Participated in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Annual Meeting. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation works to help families and schools across America to reduce obesity.
  • Attended the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) board meeting. FASEB’s mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences.
  • Organized collaboration with the Army Performance TRIAD Initiative to promote health and wellness within the U.S. Army.
  • Attended a Congressional briefing sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) regarding technology in football and its efforts to promote safety within the sport.
  • Collaborated with other supportive organizations regarding H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, to work toward passage of the legislation. The 21st Century Cures Act accelerates the discovery, development and delivery of life-saving and life-improving therapies and transforms the quest for faster cures by investing in NIH research and removing barriers to increased research collaboration. H.R. 6 was recently passed in the House in a bipartisan fashion and is now being considered by the Senate.
  • Attended the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) board meeting and strategy session. NCPPA is a diverse blend of associations, health organizations and private corporations advocating for policies that encourage all to get more physically active.
  • Met with the new executive director of the Let's Move! initiative. Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.
  • Joined other FASEB members to participate in FASEB's Annual Capitol Hill Day to promote funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH). During the lobby day, more than 100 members of Congress and their staff were informed on the importance of increasing funding for NIH and the important research they fund.
  • Attended the U.S. Chamber Health and Wellness Forum. The forum explored how to empower health and wellness in communities by leveraging the influence of local and national businesses.
  • Gathered 37 organizations and more than 500 ACSM members to signa letter written by ACSM to NIH Director Francis Collins in support of including a physical activity research program within the NIH Common Fund.
  • Worked with the House sponsors of H.R. 1499, the Physical Activity Recommendations for Americans Act, to create a “Dear Colleague” communication in support of H.R. 1499. A Dear Colleague is delivered to all members of the House of Representatives and asks them to cosponsor the legislation.
  • Met with the Congressional Fitness Caucus to discuss a congressional commitment on physical activity and health promotion.
  • Participated in a lobby day with other organizations in support of S. 705. More than 30 members of Congress and their staff were contacted. S. 705, legislation introduced by Senators Cochran and Cardin, makes technical changes to the Transportation Alternatives Program within the highway transportation authorization bill in order to make it easier for groups to access funding for active transportation initiatives.