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Maryland Residents Participate in Launch of National Video Campaign: 'Say 'Yes' to Health Reform'
Date:10/1/2009

Effort Illustrates Broad Public Support for Addressing Crisis of Chronic Disease

BALTIMORE, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citizens of Maryland are voicing their support for health reform that prioritizes prevention and wellness with the launch today of "Say 'Yes' to Health Reform" (www.sayyestohealthreform.com) - an online video campaign of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) directed at Congressional leaders in Washington.

The campaign Web site features video testimonials of residents of Maryland and 16 other states across the nation who talk about why they "say 'yes'" to comprehensive health reform that tackles issues of affordability, access and quality brought on by our nation's high rates of poorly prevented and mismanaged chronic disease - and why they "say 'no'" to the status quo.

"It's so important to us that health care reform move through and that it includes a focus on things such as obesity which we believe is one of the really insidious problems that affects many areas of chronic disease," said John Hoey, President and CEO of YMCA of Central Maryland and a local leader in the PFCD, the group organizing the effort. "Failure to focus on chronic disease and on chronic health issues will be a huge missed opportunity."

The PFCD, which has chapters in 17 states across the country including Maryland, has been active in the health reform debate throughout this year and during the presidential election, to inform national and local leaders about the crisis of chronic illness and how it is impacting Americans' health and the affordability of health care.

Across the nation, 130 million Americans suffer from chronic disease - and 75 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes to treat patients with one or more chronic conditions. In Maryland, over 3,200,000 residents suffer from at least one of the seven most common chronic conditions. The total cost, including direct expenditure (e.g., health care cost) and indirect cost (e.g., lost productivity), related to these seven chronic diseases alone amount to more than $25 billion.

While these figures alone are staggering, the newly-released Web-based video campaign puts a human face on the issue in an effort to draw the attention of national policymakers so - now that they are back in Washington - do not lose sight of the concerns of the everyday Americans they represent.

Dr. Nancy Rosen, Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, Maryland Chapter, and one of the 10 Maryland residents featured on the Web site, asserted "yes" to health care reform. "It's very important that the health care system emphasize prevention and wellness," said Rosen.

To date, the "Say 'Yes' to Health Reform" campaign features over 100 videos submitted by residents of Maryland as well as Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin. The video testimonials represent a diverse mix of concerned individuals - from patients and caregivers, to physicians, nurses and other clinicians, to business owners and local leaders. Many live with a chronic illness or care for a chronically ill friend or family member.

Through the remainder of the health care debate, the campaign Web site will be continuously updated with new video testimonials, which will be sent to Congressional members representing Maryland and other participating states.

About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national and state-based coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.

For more information about the PFCD and its partner organizations, please visit: www.fightchronicdisease.org.

SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease


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SOURCE Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
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