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Healthcare Reform Starts at Home
Date:7/21/2009

WASHINGTON and CHICAGO, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As healthcare reform becomes an increasing national priority, the American Psychological Association (APA) and YMCA of the USA announced a partnership that provides strategies to help families improve their overall well-being and physical health, and advocates for a comprehensive healthcare system that has a strong approach to chronic disease prevention. The partnership will specifically address the impact individual behaviors such as eating healthy and increasing physical activity can have in reducing risk factors for chronic diseases.

A recent report by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) indicates that obesity rates continued to rise last year, despite increased attention to the issue. TFAH makes recommendations for addressing obesity in health reform and calls out an increase in community-based programs as a key priority.

"Prevention is an important piece of the healthcare puzzle," says psychologist Dr. Katherine Nordal, the executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association. "Taking personal responsibility for your health and changing unhealthy behaviors are immensely important to prevention of chronic illnesses."

The partnership was created because of the complementary aspects of APA's Mind/Body Health Public Education Campaign and the YMCA's Healthy Family Home initiative. The partnership is intended to help parents and caregivers better understand how to provide emotional support for their families in ways that encourage lifestyle and behavior change, and to help them understand how their home environment can impact these changes.

"Healthy habits start at home. But unfortunately many families struggle to find a balance that allows them to maintain a healthy lifestyle," said Lynne Vaughan, senior vice president and chief innovation officer f
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SOURCE American Psychological Association
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