Getting it Right

How America's Hometowns are Fighting Back Against Childhood Obesity

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, delivered the keynote address, "Getting it Right: How America's Hometowns are Fighting Back Against Childhood Obesity," at the Strand Union Building at Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont., on August 10, 2009.

Lavizzo-Mourey drew attention to the issue of health reform, stressing the importance of wellness and prevention. Having spent many years caring for sick people, she said “Our current system of ‘sick care’ is irrational, ineffective and so grossly expensive that it will break the bank unless we shift to a more logical system of ‘well care.’”

In order to achieve good health care, Lavizzo-Mourey emphasized the need to “Achieve ‘the security of wellness’” by harnessing “the energies and expertise of public and private leaders across every sector of community life.” To attain this kind of security in Montana and other communities across the United States, she calls for “meta-leaders” to help “make health happen."

Focusing on the issue of childhood obesity, Lavizzo-Mourey outlined recommendations by the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America to help meta-leaders in government; education; public health; and health care achieve better health outcomes for their communities.