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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Efforts to End Hunger and Reduce Diet-Related Disease in U.S.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Efforts to End Hunger and Reduce Diet-Related Disease in U.S.

In September, the Biden-Harris Administration released an $8 billion plan to confront the food insecurity and diet-related diseases afflicting many Americans—particularly among underserved communities like the elderly, the LGBTQ+ community, military families and veterans, communities of color, and rural areas.

Announced during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Administration’s strategy to combat these health issues includes both private- and public-sector efforts organized around five guiding pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Ensuring that everyone—including urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal communities and territories—has access to and can afford food. The administration will tackle hunger and food availability through various laws, credits, and strategies to end hunger by improving jobs recovery, lowering child poverty rates, reducing healthcare costs, and more.
  • Pillar 2: Integrating nutrition and health. The administration plans to include nutrition and food security when measuring overall health, including disease prevention and management, and to ensure that the needs of all people are addressed through the healthcare system.
  • Pillar 3: Creating an environment where all people can make informed, healthy food choices; have access to healthy food; and are encouraged in their schools or workplace to lead healthier lives. Educational campaigns will be developed to resonate with specific communities in a culturally appropriate way.
  • Pillar 4: Making physical activity easily accessible to all by increasing awareness of the benefits of physical activity and making safe places so that everyone can be physically active.
  • Pillar 5: Improving the research associated with nutrition and food security, with a focus on improving nutrition metrics, data collection, and research to help shape nutrition and food security policy, particularly around issues of equity, access, and disparities.

The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to ending hunger, improving nutrition, and promoting physical activity in the United States. You can read more about the Administration’s efforts in an online fact sheet:


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Press Contact

Kurt von Tish

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

The most commonly inherited blood disorder continues to have difficulties in high quality treatment options for adults living with the disease. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), an intensely painful blood disorder caused by red blood cells having an abnormal, sickle shape, affects over 100,000 United States citizens of all ethnicities but disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic populations, occurring, alarmingly, in 1 in every 365 Black or African American births and 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic births.

SCD causes the body to create abnormally shaped red blood cells in the form of a “C” or sickle. These cells disrupt the normal flow of red blood cells in blood vessels, causing extreme, acute, and chronic pain episodes and failing to transfer oxygen to body tissues. Signs and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Pain Episodes or Crisis
  • Hand-Foot Syndrome
  • Acute Chest Syndrome
  • Infection
  • Eye Disease
  • Stroke

SCD can affect any ethnic group, but Black and Hispanic populations in the US are most heavily affected by the disease. An estimated 1 in every 13 black and African American births suffer from Sickle Cell Trait, abetting it in being the most commonly inherited disease.

Due to SCD having varying treatment options, only 25% of patients receive a standard of care recommended by current guidelines. Studies indicate patients of SCD, compared to other patients, do not receive adequate treatment for pain, or in appropriate doses.

September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month – a great opportunity to spread awareness of the disease, its insufficient treatments, and minority communities being affected in much higher numbers.

Additional resources, including a new video on SCD by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health, are available:

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Press Contact

Kurt von Tish

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and Obesity

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Obesity plays a significant role in health and healthcare, with studies showing that obesity increases a person’s chances of chronic disease, including high blood
pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Studies have also shown that African American men and women have the highest rates of obesity among U.S. racial/ethnic groups.

When taking a holistic view of health equity, though, it is important to look at the root causes of an issue, as well as the fruits that are produced. For example, African Americans often have less access to healthy food than their counterparts in other racial/ethnic groups. In particular, neighborhoods that are considered “food deserts,” or areas with little to no healthy food options, are disproportionately likely to have large African American and Hispanic populations.

From a health equity standpoint, therefore, addressing obesity and its health risks requires that we also address issues like food access by providing Black and Hispanic communities with affordable, accessible, and healthy food options. Because advancing health equity is not just a matter of treating the “sickness,” but also treating the underlying factors that produced it.

To learn more, visit the following resource:

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month

PovertyInAmericaJanuary is National Poverty in America Awareness Month, which aims to call attention to the growth of poverty in America. The COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the issue for families and communities nationwide.

Poverty is a complex social issue; it can manifest in hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, disabilities, and social discrimination and exclusion, among other ways. People living in poverty having an increased risk of chronic conditions, lower life expectancy, and barriers to receiving quality healthcare.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH), 37.2 million Americans live in poverty, which is an increase of 3.3 million people since 2019. OMH also notes that in 2020, racial and ethnic minorities continued to be disproportionately affected by poverty, with the rates of poverty among Black (19.5%) and Hispanic (17%) Americans more than twice that of White Americans (8.2%).

CMS offers a number of resources to help  learn how to access health coverage, manage health care costs, and fully utilize benefits. For more information, visit https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/OMH/equity-initiatives/health-observances.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities also provides resources to combat poverty.

CMMI Charts Fresh Course for Next 10 Years

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) outlined its goals to improve and expand healthcare delivery in Federal programs over the next 10 years in a new white paper released October 20.

The Innovation Center Strategy Refresh aims to bring “describes the Innovation Center’s refreshed vision and strategy and provides examples of approaches and efforts under consideration.” CMMI’s strategy includes five main objectives:

  • Drive accountable care: Increase the number of people in a care relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care.
  • Advance healthy equity: Embed health equity in every aspect of CMMI’s models and increase focus on underserved populations.
  • Support care innovations: Leverage a range of supports that enable integrated, person-centered care.
  • Improve access by addressing affordability: Pursue strategies to address healthcare prices, affordability, and reduce unnecessary or duplicative care.
  • Partner to achieve system transformation: Align priorities and policies across the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and aggressively engage payers, purchasers states, and beneficiaries to improve quality, to achieve equitable outcomes, and to reduce healthcare costs.

CMMI's 5 Strategic Objectives for Advancing System Tranformation

Source: Innovation Center Strategy Refresh.

The refresh comes as CMMI enters its second decade after being created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Innovation Center launched more than 50 models in its first decade aimed at transitioning the U.S. health system to value-based care.

More information can be found here.