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BPC Commends University of Miami and President Donna E. Shalala for joining the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) Healthier Campus Initiative

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) praises former HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala, co-chair of its Prevention Initiative and president of the University of Miami, for joining the Healthier Campus Initiative making the university one of the first schools in the nation to sign on to the innovative program.

The new initiative was launched this week by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The University of Miami is one of 20 universities and colleges to launch the program, which is a three-year commitment to make its campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, and physical activity and programming. BPC was pleased to serve as a Key Opinion Leader to PHA in its development of these guidelines.

“We congratulate PHA on this significant accomplishment and Donna Shalala for leading the way on making large institutions healthier by starting in her own community of the University of Miami,” said Lisel Loy, director of BPC’s Prevention Initiative.

The Healthier Campus Initiative guidelines build on innovative and successful changes at schools around the country. The Initiative creates a uniform framework to help ensure that hundreds of thousands of university students, faculty and staff across the 20 schools have access to healthier food choices and opportunities for physical activity. In joining the Initiative, the University of Miami has committed to offering healthier food options at on-campus dining locations, supporting locally grown, sustainable menu items, developing physical activity guidelines for campus audiences and bolstering its already comprehensive wellness programming.

“The University of Miami is proud to be at the forefront of this national partnership,” said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, who cho-chairs BPC’s Prevention Initiative. “As one of 20 schools in the first cohort, the University has reaffirmed its commitment to creating a culture of wellness and fostering a healthy lifestyle for our students and campuses, in all aspects of daily.”

PHA works with the private sector and honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier. This new initiative directly aligns with BPC’s report, Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future, which was released in 2012 by BPC’s Prevention Initiative co-chaired by Shalala and former Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Ann M. Veneman and former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. The report called on large institutions such as hospitals and universities, sports and entertainment venues, hotels and government agencies to procure and serve healthier foods, using their significant market power to shift food supply chains and make healthier options more available and cost-competitive.

Loy added, “BPC is committed to leveraging the reach of large institutions to improve our nation’s health. These guidelines are an important step in that direction.”

For more information about PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit: www.ahealthieramerica.org/campuses