Statement regarding the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Pursuit of Independent Non-Profit Status
June 30, 2009 – The American Heart Association (AHA) and William J. Clinton Foundation announced today that the partnership they formed in 2005 to combat childhood obesity, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, will begin to pursue independent non-profit status. The Alliance has grown to more than 80 staff members; now provides support to more than 4,950 schools across the country; has increased access to healthcare related to the prevention, assessment and treatment of childhood obesity to close to 1 million children; and has inspired more than 1.25 million kids to commit to eat better and move more.
The newly independent Alliance for a Healthier Generation will receive support and active board membership from the founding organizations as it continues its mission to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S. by 2015. Growing into an independent non-profit will allow the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to forge new relationships and broaden the scope and diversity of voices on its board.
“The partnership between the AHA and the Clinton Foundation has been a tremendous success and has accomplished great things in four years,” said Bruce Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation. “It is a natural progression of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Alliance that it now evolves into an independent organization. We are proud of the accomplishments and growth of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and look forward to continuing active involvement in the organization as it continues to achieve its goals.”
“The AHA has been pleased to provide its expertise in wellness, prevention and awareness about heart disease to this partnership and looks forward to continuing to serve as the scientific basis for the Alliance’s work to combat childhood obesity,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “It is a testament to the success of our four years as a partnership that the Alliance is now ready to grow into an independent non-profit.”
“The Alliance’s demonstrated achievements in each of our four key initiative areas speak to the success of the partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation,” said Ginny Ehrlich, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Incorporating as an independent non-profit organization is the logical next step and is a great opportunity for everyone involved.”
In the past 20 years childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have doubled and are now at epidemic levels. Nearly one in three children and teens is already overweight or obese. To combat the epidemic, the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation partnered in May 2005 to create a unique partnership, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which focused on addressing the obesity issue in four key areas: healthcare, schools, industry and kids.
Since the launch of the partnership in May 2005, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation has made tremendous strides in its effort to combat childhood obesity including:
Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program
- Working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other funding organizations, the Healthy Schools Program provides in-person support to more than 4,950 schools to create school environments that promote physical activity and healthy eating.
- The Healthy Schools Program reaches more than 2.7 million young people and positively affects students in all 50 states.
- More than 90 percent of Healthy Schools Program schools instituted at least one new health promoting policy during their first year in the program.
Alliance’s Industry Agreements
- Since its inception, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation has facilitated voluntary agreements with the beverage, snack food, food service management and dairy industries.
- The Alliance School Beverage and Competitive Food Agreements have resulted in a significant reduction in the calories available to students in schools across the country—including a 58 percent decrease in total beverage calories shipped to schools between 2004 and the 2007-08 school years.
Alliance Healthcare Initiative
- The Alliance Healthcare Initiative works with insurers, employers and national medical associations to offer first-ever benefits for the prevention, assessment and treatment of child and family obesity.
- All participating insurers and employers offer at least four follow up visits to a primary care provider and at least four to registered dietitians
- In the first year, close to 1 million children across the country have access to this new benefit opportunity. The goal of the Alliance Healthcare Initiative is for 6.2 million children to have access to the benefit within three years.
empowerME Kids Movement
- The empowerME campaign is a by kids, for kids movement inspiring all kids to make healthy behavior choices and to become advocates for healthy eating and physical activity.
- The empowerME campaign is elevating youth voices in more than 45 cities across the country—led by 25 passionate kids who make up the Youth Advisory Board.
- More than 1.2 million kids are already committed, and empowerME looks to secure more than two million commitments from tweens and teens around the country by 2010.