Outreach to Vulnerable Populations

July 29 - 30, 2009, San Diego, CA


Women In Government's Outreach to Vulnerable Populations: Focus on Children and Obesity Meeting was held July 29 - 30, 2009 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego, California. This meeting convened women state legislators from across the country to address the issues surrounding children as a vulnerable population. Below is a summary of presentations from the meeting. For a full copy of the meeting agenda, click here. You can also view photos from the event here.

Presentations Overview

Children as a Vulnerable Population: State Protective Policies

Representative Joan Brady
South Carolina General Assembly

Representative Joan Brady was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2004. She presented on what she has done in her state to enact policies to protect children.

Children’s Obesity: Prevention Policies

Lisa Santora, MD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer
Beach Cities Health District

Lisa Santora, MD, MPH is the Chief Medical Officer at Beach Cities Health District, a special health care district formed in 1955 that transformed from a community hospital into a primary prevention agency in 1998. She gave an overview of children and obesity and discussed how state legislators can aide in the prevention.

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Dispelling Vaccine Myths

Lance Rodewald, MD
Director, Immunization Services Division
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Lance Rodewald’s presentation dispelled myths that surround vaccine safety and shared with state legislators ways the CDC can help the states. Dr. Rodewald provided an overview of vaccine recommendations, discussed safety monitoring and VICP, addressed false allegations and myths, and ways to maintain access to vaccines.

View the presentation

Learn more about the CDC’s Immunization Services Division by clicking here.

Diabetes in Children

Francine Kaufman, MD
Director, Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center
Head, Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

As the obesity epidemic in America continues, our youth are especially effected, diseases such as diabetes are being seen effecting a record number of children. This presentation discussed the association between obesity and diabetes in children as well as, addressed the current availability of high sugar, high calorie foods available to today’s youth, and discussed the role state legislators play in diabetes prevention.

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Importance of Vaccination for Public Health in States

Mark Sawyer, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
University of California San Diego School of Medicine

This presentation discussed the medical as well as societal importance of vaccination. Dr. Sawyer described the overall impact of vaccination and how it decreases disease in the United States, discussed the impact unimmunized individuals have on the entire community, and also addressed the role state legislators play in promoting effective and efficient vaccination delivery.

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Social and Economic Costs of Patient Non-Compliance: Understanding Medical Treatment Literacy

Michael Wolf, MA, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Patient non-compliance occurs when individuals do not follow the treatment regimen prescribed by a doctor – usually for a chronic disease. This results in complications or worsening of the condition and eventually increased medical treatment costs. Encouraging constituents to adhere to treatment regimens and living a healthy lifestyle will save overall health care costs for your state. Dr. Wolf addressed the issues surrounding patient non-compliance including the economic impact on states and the societal impact on constituents as well as the barriers patients face.

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Learn more about the labeling of prescription medication here.

Children as a Vulnerable Population: Data Driven Policies

Sandra McBrayer
Chief Executive Officer
The Children’s Initiative

Data is able to indicate trends, gaps and areas of need. Ms. McBrayer discussed how to use data to guide policies to help children. Also addressed were ways that state legislators can implement statewide data programs to benefit children.

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State Policies for Vulnerable Populations and Children

Senator Beverly Marrero
Tennessee General Assembly

Representative Patricia Bellock
Midwestern Regional Director, Women In Government Board of Directors
Illinois General Assembly

Senator Marrero and Representative Bellock discussed the legislation and programs that they have implemented in their states to positively effect children. They provided their colleagues with ideas and examples of how to positively impact children.


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