In spite of the flooding of millions of dollars worth of the H2O tour instruments and equipment, the show still went on.

The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour began in Virginia Beach this Friday night, and critical reviews are saying it will spoil you for any other summer shows...and maybe even Disney World.

Hope Through Healing Hands has been honored to partner with the tour to promote awareness, advocacy, and philanthropy for clean, safe water initiatives around the world with our Water=Hope Campaign.

Senator Frist and his family, staff, and friends flew to Virginia Beach for the launch of the tour.
The two weeks I spent on the gynecology service were eye-opening and much less pleasurable than working on the maternity wards. On this service we were mostly giving bad news and taking care of chronically ill patients. Of the urgent cases, the majority presented with complaints of bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. At least half of these were spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), an average of 12 per 24 hour shift. These patients needed manual vacuum aspiration to empty the uterus of any retained products of conception. Amazingly, the women accepted the news gracefully and were cooperative with this method of treatment. Only their strength carried them through this painful procedure as analgesia was not given.
One of our partners, Ellie's Run for Africa, will host its 6th annual 5K race and family fun day next weekend - Saturday, May 22, 2010 - at Percy Warner Park. Not a runner? No problem. There's something in it for everyone...

Ellie's Run was started by a Nashville teen when she was just ten years old. Responding to a "missionary Sunday" presentation at her church, Ellie knew that she had to do something to help the kids she saw in those pictures whose mothers could not feed them and who had no chance at an education.
Today we want to announce the launch of our Water=Hope Campaign in partnership with The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour 2010. The tour begins next week, May 21 in Virginia Beach, VA - and we will be there to promote awareness, advocacy, and philanthropy for clean, safe water.

Around the globe, one out of every seven people lacks access to safe drinking water.


TEXT H2O to 25383 to give $10.*

Your investment will build wells, provide water purification systems, and address sanitation issues both in the United States and around the world. Check in to our website in the coming months to watch how your dollars are being spent.
There is exciting and timely news for students looking to make a direct impact in the world. Each year, the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI U sponsors a competitive grant program called the Outstanding Commitment Awards.  These grants are given to students who submit proposals for "Commitments to Action" that are aimed at improving communities and lives in their communities and across the globe.  The grant awards range from $1,000 - $10,000 and applications are open to all currently-enrolled students, both undergraduate and graduate. The applications should be focused on one of CGI U's five global challenge areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health, and are awarded to student-led groups focused on these areas.
This is a fantastic opportunity for students to take action in making a difference across the globe, and helping turn their ideas into reality. Time is running out however.  The final deadline has been extended to April 30, 2010, so there are only a coupe days left for you to submit your applications.
I encourage students in Tennessee and across the gobe to take advantage of this funding opportunity by submitting an application before the deadline.  For more information about this exciting project, please visit http://www.cgiu.org/funding/.
The CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards were launched in 2008 to provide financial support to innovative, student-driven initiatives. To see a map of previous award winners and their winning projects, please click here.
Yesterday, I had the chance to visit John F. Kennedy Middle School in Antioch, TN to meet with some incredibly talented students who worked hard to raise $1,000 for Haiti relief efforts. The work they did to raise money for such a worthy cause was inspiring, and I left with a renewed and continued sense of optimism about the future leaders we have in Tennessee.

Housing programs lift poor in world

By William H. Frist and Jonathan T.M. Reckford?

8:11 p.m. Monday, April 12, 2010

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/housing-programs-lift-poor-457340.html

As in Haiti and Chile, disasters mobilize us to help families rebuild, rebound and recover.

Yet, in our rush to react, we can overlook the underlying tragedy: those most vulnerable to disaster often live in peril before the earth shakes or the sea rumbles. We must respond to the needs of disaster survivors, but we must also address the constant crisis families face daily in deplorable living conditions.

For example, nearly 9 million children die each year from preventable causes. That’s about 24,500 every day.

By the time you read this article, 50 more will have died, not because of medical barriers, but because of financial ones. Cheap medical interventions can prevent many of these deaths, but medicine isn’t the only necessary measure.

With access to clean water, proper sanitation and other basic services, decent housing fosters good health.

More should be done through public, private and nonprofit partnerships to provide proper housing.

Take those preventable causes above and consider how many of them might have been avoided had families lived in decent homes.

Pneumonia, for example, kills more children each year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined — nearly four children each minute.

Many of those deaths take place in homes with crowded living conditions where bacteria thrive.

Because too many poor families cannot afford adequate shelter, they cram too many people into too small a space — subjecting the entire household to increased risk.

Diarrhea is another leading cause of child deaths. Once a child contracts diarrhea, we can easily treat it with oral rehydration.

But consider again how that same child might have avoided the condition with access to clean water. More than 1.2 billion people lack that access.

Studies have linked health outcomes to housing and housing-related basics such as water and sanitation. In Mexico, the World Bank found that replacing dirt floors with concrete floors improved the health of children, including a 78 percent reduction in parasitic infections and a 49 percent reduction in diarrhea.

In Malawi, researchers from Emory University concluded that young children living in Habitat for Humanity homes were 44 percent less likely to contract respiratory problems, gastrointestinal diseases or malaria than their counterparts living in substandard housing.

Behind those statistics are the hopes, lives and dreams of children who are significantly less likely to fall ill when they have adequate shelter.

Health threats from inadequate housing are not limited to developing countries. In the United States, 6 million families face disproportionate health risks because of their housing. Cockroaches and mold exacerbate asthma in children and adults.

The list goes on, and even though it’s poor and low-income families who suffer most, all of us have a stake in the good health — and by extension, the good housing — of everyone.

Creating decent, affordable housing is not only the right thing to do, it’s smart and economical — saving health care dollars at home and promoting economic development internationally.

When families are well, they don’t incur costly hospital visits, and when they can afford their housing, they can better maintain a healthy life.

Health initiatives in the U.S. and beyond must address the positive impact adequate housing has on good health.

As Congress assesses U.S. foreign assistance, policy-makers should recognize the importance of shelter as a standalone issue, as well as a means to support other development outcomes, such as improved health.

We as individuals must speak up in the conversation around decent shelter.

We can advocate for sound housing policy, roll up our sleeves to build affordable housing or financially invest in housing solutions that bring health, hope and healing to families around the globe.

Dr. William H. Frist is a physician and former U.S. Senate majority leader.

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is CEO at Habitat for Humanity International.

I was initially blown away at the number of delivery rooms when first arriving on the labor and delivery ward at University Teaching Hospital (UTH). There were no less than 20 beds for mothers who were in labor or those who were pregnant and very ill. The monitors, such as those used to assess fetal heart rates found in most U.S. hospitals, were absent. As were bedside sitting areas for patient's family and friends, likely as a result of limited space.
In Dar es Salaam, March signifies the end of Tanzania's summer which starts somewhere around December. During the summer, the sun is already unbearable by 7 a.m. and the ridiculous humidity means you'll be drenched in sweat before you can even make it from home to the office.

Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Senator Frist will serve as a Vice Chair for her Childhood Obesity Foundation - Partnership for a Healthier America:

Partnership for a Healthier America Expands Leadership, Naming Board of Directors and Honorary Vice Chairs

Sen. Frist, Mayor Booker Join First Lady Michelle Obama as Honorary Leaders of Childhood Obesity Foundation

Nine-Member Board of Directors Brings Vast Array of Experience and Expertise to Support Partnership, Guide its Activities


Washington, DC - The Partnership for a Healthier America today announced the addition of key leaders in its effort to address the serious epidemic of childhood obesity.  The organization named former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Newark Mayor Cory Booker as Honorary Vice Chairs, and appointed a board of directors, including Dr. James R. Gavin III, who will serve as chairman.  The Partnership is working to mobilize the private sector, thought leaders, media, and local communities to action and further the goals of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity within a generation.
 
In their roles, Frist, Booker, Gavin, and the board of directors bring valuable leadership and experience to help drive the Partnership's activities and ensure the organization is effective in establishing measurable solutions for fighting obesity.    
 
On a conference call today with Frist, Booker, and Gavin, the First Lady welcomed the Partnership's new leaders.  "Reversing the obesity trend has never been more important to the health of our nation and, to succeed, it will take the combined effort of public and private sectors," the First Lady said.  "I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and resolve of the honorary vice chairs and new board of directors, and I am confident that their leadership and experience will help us achieve our goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation."
 
A licensed physician, Frist has long recognized the growing danger of the obesity epidemic.  "As childhood obesity continues to threaten the health and future of all American children, the time has come for meaningful, measurable solutions to solve this crisis," Frist said.  "I look forward to working to mobilize leaders across this country to take action and improve the health of our nation."   
 
Similarly, Booker has worked tirelessly to promote healthy lifestyles and physical fitness for all Newark residents.  "My experiences in Newark have shown me that the fight against childhood obesity can only be won if all people come together to find real, achievable solutions," Booker said.  "I am excited to join in this effort and help bring our nation together for this important cause."
 
As the Partnership's board chairman, Dr. Gavin brings a deep knowledge of childhood obesity-related illnesses and the policy and environmental influences that are contributing factors.  He currently serves as chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Healing Our Village, Inc., a health communication corporation developing methods to assure health care system change that promotes patient behavior change for improved health outcomes in medically-underserved populations.    
 
"The Partnership for a Healthier America will fill a unique niche among childhood obesity initiatives across the country, by working to target industry-specific solutions that can be measured and tracked," Gavin said.  "I am pleased to help lead this organization in efforts to develop a strong network of committed and solution-oriented members dedicated to curbing childhood obesity within a generation."
 
Other newly-appointed members of the board of directors are Deborah DeHaas, Peter Dolan, S. Lawrence Kocot, Deborah Landesman, Janet Murguía, Vivian Riefberg, William L. Roper, and Antronette K. Yancey.
 
These board members bring significant experience and expertise that will support the Partnership's activities and help ensure its success.  Members offer medical expertise on issues related to childhood obesity; have experience leading large companies, as well as organizations focused on driving social change; and represent multiple communities highly affected by the childhood obesity epidemic.  For complete board member biographies, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org/about/board.html.
 
About the Partnership for a Healthier America

The Partnership for a Healthier America is an independent, nonpartisan organization that will mobilize broad-based support for efforts to solve the child obesity challenge.  Core activities of the Partnership include:
 

  • Developing  a  strong membership network of  leaders across sectors with commitment to  scaling meaningful and measurable solutions;  
  • Convening members  annually to affirm, align, and announce commitments;  
  • Promoting broad  understanding among all sectors about the role healthy food, physical  activity, and the environment play in reversing the childhood obesity  epidemic;  
  • Facilitating and  measuring the impact of members' commitments against clear and transparent  targets; and  
  • Connecting  potential partners in the private and nonprofit sectors to each other and to  the correct points of contact in government to ensure efficient leveraging of  actions, and sharing of knowledge and lessons learned at the community, state,  and national levels.  


The Partnership emerged out of a series of conversations between The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which is a partnership of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.  Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, LLP has provided operational and legal support in establishing the Foundation. The Brookings Institution has also contributed thought leadership to the effort.
 
For more information about the Partnership for a Healthier America, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org.  
 
About the Let's Move! Campaign

The First Lady's nationwide initiative seeks to solve the challenge of childhood obesity, so that America's youngest children reach adulthood at a healthy weight.  Her plan offers four pillars:
 

  • Offering parents  the tools and information they need to make healthy choices for their  kids;  
  • Getting healthier  food into our nation's schools;  
  • Ensuring that all  our families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities; and  
  • Increasing  opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of  school.  

The Partnership will support these pillars through a campaign to unite and inspire families from every corner of the United States to take real and sustained actions to eat better, be more active, and make a commitment to embracing healthier lifestyles.
 
For more information on Let's Move!, visit www.letsmove.gov.

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