Please enter your email address to download
Click here to receive PHA'S Monthly E-Newsletter

2017 Summit Sessions

Register Now
See below to find out more about 2017 Plenary and Breakout sessions.

2017 Plenary Sessions

Entrepreneur Perspective: The Future of Food What does the future of food and nutrition look like? As our population grows in diversity, nutrition science continues to evolve and our food choices expand – yet a significant percentage of the population remains limited in its access to healthier foods, directly impacting rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Hear from innovative leaders at cutting-edge start-ups who are rethinking the way we produce and sell food to improve health for all.

Childhood Adversity: An Urgent Public Health Crisis
High doses of adversity from experiences such as abuse, neglect or household dysfunction not only affect the structure and function of children’s developing brains, they also affect their developing hormonal and immune systems, and even the way DNA is read and transcribed. These biological changes are known as “toxic stress.” Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness – a nationally recognized pediatric health organization based in San Francisco – will explain how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can harm the developing brains and bodies of children, as well as how we can respond.

Housing and Health: The Next ‘Green’ Movement
Homes are supposed to provide safety, security and shelter – the places where families come together. Yet, for many Americans, housing also represents the greatest single expenditure in the family budget, forcing tough financial choices between the remaining life essentials such as medical care, food and clothing. The lack of quality, affordable housing plagues many communities across the US and ultimately impacts health outcomes. Leaders from the public, private and financial sectors will share innovative efforts to address these challenges, along with real-life American stories highlighting the ways in which housing affects our health.

Driving Health Through Access
The link between food and health is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in low-income communities, where access to affordable produce, whole grains, and other health-promoting foods is low and rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related illnesses are high. How do we meet the challenge of expanding healthier food options for people who have no income and rely on emergency food assistance, and for people who have limited incomes and lack access to grocery stores?

2017 Breakout Sessions

The 2017 Building a Healthier Future Summit will include the following sessions:
Thursday, May 11 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Get in the Game: Building Access to Play

Safe, accessible parks and recreational facilities are essential for fostering active and healthy lifestyles, yet kids growing up in low-income neighborhoods disproportionately lack access to such spaces. Securing funding to build or renovate facilities – especially in low-income areas – is often a struggle. Leaders from nonprofits, private companies and foundations will discuss how they are working with local communities to expand access to quality places to play.
  • Beverly Smith, National Program Director-Sports & Recreation, LISC (Moderator)
  • Riley Fields, Community Relations, Carolina Panthers
  • Jeff Breslin, Senior Manager, Global Philanthropy, Under Armour
  • Retired Detective Elijah Brooks, Executive Director, Youth on the Move In Community

Public-Private Partnership: Working Together to Fight Diabetes

Learn about Cities Changing Diabetes-Houston: a unique public-private partnership with a mission to understand the factors that contribute to diabetes in an urban setting, along with how to jointly develop solutions that address those factors. A diverse panel of stakeholders will discuss the research that profiled Houston’s vulnerability to diabetes; the process of bringing together stakeholders to develop solutions; and the projects underway to prevent and better manage diabetes among Houston residents.
  • Karin Gillespie, Associate Director, Public Policy, Novo Nordisk (Moderator)
  • Faith Foreman, Assistant Director, Houston Health Department
  • Joy Cornthwaite, Certified Diabetes Educator at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

All The News That’s Fit to Print

Think reporters are ignoring you? Join us for a panel discussion with national print, radio and TV reporters who will talk about trends in the industry, share what’s happening behind the scenes of newsrooms and provide candid advice about what makes a great story. For the (optional) bonus round: step up to the microphone for a “pitch slam,” a chance to pitch your best story idea in 60 seconds and obtain real-time feedback from the panel. Who knows – yours may be just the story they’ve been looking for!
  • Linda Henry, Managing Director, The Boston Globe and Co-Founder, HUBweek (Moderator)
  • Julia Belluz, Senior Health Editor,
  • Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post
  • Allison Aubrey, NPR
  • Helena Bottemiller Evich, Senior Food and Agriculture Reporter, Politico
Thursday, May 11 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Building a Culture of Wellness: Rocco DiSpirito & Jenna Wolfe

Join Rocco DiSpirito, a James Beard award-winning chef and health advocate, and TV Fitness Correspondent & Expert Jenna Wolfe, for a session on building a culture of wellness. Rocco and Jenna will share practical advice for creating healthier, more productive work and living environments as they lead the audience in fitness routines; demonstrate easy, healthy recipes; and provide lifestyle and nutrition advice.
  • Jenna Wolfe, Talk Show Host
  • Rocco DiSpirito, Celebrity Chef

Hurdling Barriers: Physical Activity and Girls of Color

Numerous cultural barriers have been associated with the obesity-related challenges faced by girls of color. While programs exist that encourage girls to participate in physical activity through their adolescent years, few address these barriers faced by African American, Hispanic and Native American girls. How can we close the gap to ensure that all girls have equal access to opportunities for activities that help them maintain a healthy weight? Join us for a robust discussion on breaking down the barriers to access.
  • Morgan Dixon, Girl Trek
  • Temryss Lane, Nike N7
  • Pamela Long, Partnership for a Healthier America (Moderator)

Funders Perspective: A Town Hall Forum

Through changes in public policies, school and neighborhood settings and the consumer marketplace, we’re beginning to see signs of progress in the effort to ensure that every child grows up at a healthy weight. But much more remains to be done. Hear from leading foundations as they share their perspectives on the most promising paths forward and take your questions and feedback as to what more we can do together.
  • Victoria Brown, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Loel Solomon, Vice President, Kaiser Permanente
  • Allison Gertel-Rosenberg, Director-Policy & Prevention, Nemours

Getting Kids to Eat the Rainbow

While recent data show that children are eating more fruit, they’re still well behind public health recommendations on fruit and vegetable intake overall. Everyone has a role to play in helping children meet their recommended daily servings, from childcare providers to schools to industry. Join us for a review of the latest data, information about promising programs and a discussion of what more we can do together to get kids to think positively about healthier food choices.
  • Liz Vaccarielo, Editor in Chief, Parents Magazine (Moderator)
  • Dr. Diane Harris, Health Scientist, CDC
  • Nona Evans, Executive Director, Whole Kids Foundation/Let’s Move Salad Bars
  • Emily Swartzlander, Senior Program Manager, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • John O’Connell, Director of Food and Beverage, Hyatt

Access to Nutrition U.S. Index Information Session

The Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF) encourages food and beverage manufacturers to increase consumers’ access to healthy products and influence consumer choice and behavior. ATNF’s benchmark tool for the industry – the Global Index – ranks food and beverage manufacturers on their nutrition policies and performances. It is now in the early stages of developing the first Access to Nutrition Index for the US. Victoria Brown, Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Inge Kauer, the Director of ATNF, will discuss the US Index as well as what American companies can do to improve nutrition.
Friday, May 12 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Back to Basics: The Power of Cooking

There are health, emotional and academic benefits that come from teaching a child to cook. Doing so can be a key tactic for families looking to eat more healthfully at home. Learn and experience how private sector organizations are using strategic programs and investments to encourage families to cook and eat at home together more often.
  • Lynya Floyd, Health Director, Family Circle (Moderator)
  • Janie, 2014 Ben’s Beginners Winner, Mars Food
  • Fatima De La O, Share Our Strength/Cooking Matters
  • Pati Jinich, Chef, PBS TV Host, and Cookbook Author

No Sugar Coating It

Striking a balance between consumers’ perennial desire for sweet-tasting products and their efforts to eat healthier isn’t easy. Soon, the food industry will also be confronted with new labeling requirements that highlight the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages. Senior executives share their ingredient, product and portion solutions to reducing sugar consumption, the challenges they face in meeting consumer taste expectations and strategies to deliver fewer calories and added sugars.
  • Hank Cardello, Senior Fellow & Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute (Moderator)
  • Abigail Storms, Vice President, Sweetener Platform Innovation, Tate & Lyle
  • Matthias Berninger, Global VP for Public Affairs, Mars Incorporated
  • Bruce McGoogan, Strategy & Innovation Leader, Cargill Starches & Sweeteners

Emerging Science: New Pathways to Health

How do your sleep patterns affect your weight? What relationship does light have to food storage, sleep patterns and weight management? What is the latest research on gut health, probiotics and microbiomes and how are these related to managing a healthy weight? Join a panel of experts as they share the latest science behind these new, emerging pathways to health.
  • Dr. Olajide Williams, Chief of Staff of Neurology, Columbia University (Moderator)
  • Fred Maxik, Founder & CEO, Lighting Science
  • Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
  • Kiran Krishnan, Research Microbiologist

Can We Save Both? Creating Healthier Children and a Healthier Earth

Generating a love for the outdoors encourages physical activity and promotes a desire to preserve it. At a time when the health of our children and the health of our planet are both equally in doubt, this session will explore how the health and environmental communities are developing actionable ways to merge efforts, increase access to nature, and ultimately build a healthier future for children.

Champion Spotlight: Daniel Giusti

What could inspire the head chef of one of the best restaurants in the world to quit his job? The opportunity to change the way kids eat, of course! Join us for a one-on-one conversation with Daniel Giusti, former chef at Noma, now running Brigaid — a company that seeks to change the entire school food environment, from the inside out.
  • Daniel Giusti, Founder and Head Chef, Brigaid
  • Adrienne Weil, Partnership for a Healthier America (Moderator)