Ted Kyle, Chair of the Advocacy Committee for The Obesity Society, reflects on the most important developments of 2012 for obesity. He credits the George Washington University Department of Health Policy with helping shift focus toward obesity and health and away from weight loss outcomes through dialogue with experts, advocates, and the FDA.
Myths, misconceptions and misinformation about obesity and weight remain pervasive. These can make an already difficult task – managing weight and health – even more challenging and can fuel weight stigma, which is as pervasive in our society as the myths themselves. Click here to read more.
View Dr. Richard H. Carmona’s, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and the Alliance’s Health and Wellness Chairperson, letter of support for the Essential Health Benefits Task Force recommendations here.
Christine C. Ferguson, J.D. is the Director of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange and a Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University. She also serves as the Strategic Initiatives Advisor for the STOP Obesity Alliance. Ms. Ferguson's areas of focus include obesity, national health reform, Medicaid, health care financing, health care and management, child health and development, public health preparedness and state health policy.
Ms. Ferguson's prior professional experiences have made her adept at evaluating, prioritizing and working to address significant public health and health care financing issues. As Commissioner of Public health in Massachusetts, Ms. Ferguson oversaw the Department of Public Health and the Department of Health Care Finance and Policy. She led initiatives addressing public health emergencies, established a unique collaboration with the Executive Office of Public Safety and implemented the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Errors Reduction. She was also a key member of a two-year effort to establish a new department for Early Education and Child Care.
From 1995 to 2001, Ms. Ferguson ran the Rhode Island Department of Human Services under Governor Lincoln Almond's two-term administration. She oversaw nearly one-third of the State's annual budget, providing Medicaid and services for low-income families, children, senior citizens, veterans and the disabled. Rhode Island's innovative achievements in health care, Medicaid managed care, early education and child care and welfare reforms were widely recognized during her tenure. Of particular note, Rhode Island had the nation's highest percentage of children with health care coverage. Prior to her service in Rhode Island, Ms. Ferguson also served as counsel and deputy chief of staff to the late U.S. Senator John H. Chafee and was instrumental in developing a bipartisan health reform proposal in the 1990s.
Ms. Ferguson is currently a member of the Board on Children, Youth and Families for the Institute of Medicine National Academies and a Director on the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI. She has served on the boards of the National Academy of State Health Policies and a variety of other national organizations.
Ms. Ferguson has been recognized as being one of the Most Influential Health Policymakers by Faulkner & Gray Healthcare, one of the nation's 100 most influential lawyers by the National Law Journal and one of the top 25 Most Influential Working Mothers by Working Mothers Magazine.
Ms. Ferguson holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Washington College of Law, American University.