Thought leaders from business, academia, philanthropy,
and government respond to call for integration of a promising
strategy to prevent and treat disease

Task force will start work May 11-12 in Dallas / Ft. Worth to develop a comprehensive systems-change map to evolve healthcare so that such interventions are a component part

May 5, 2016 … A new high-level task force has convened to figure out exactly how physical activity-based behavior-change interventions, widely agreed to be highly effective in the prevention and treatment of disease, become a working, functional part of healthcare in the U.S. 

The Prescription for Activity Task Force, includes senior officials from leading health philanthropies, Fortune 500 health-insurance companies, health advocacy organizations, and accountable care organizations, plus some of the nation’s most respected academicians in disease prevention, preventive care, public health, and community health.

The group will convene for the first time May 11-12 in Dallas / Ft. Worth to begin its work. 

The vision of the Prescription for Activity Task Force is a future in which a significant number of patients in the U.S. are prescribed or incentivized to pursue physical activity-based behavior-change interventions for preventive care and self-maintenance. Those interventions are readily accessible, delivered by trusted members of the patient-centered team, reimbursable by payers, and integrated into patient records.

“This is exactly the right convening at the right time,” said Robert Sallis, MD, FACSM, Co-Director, Sports Medicine Fellowship, Kaiser Permanente. “There is broad agreement that increased physical-activity counseling is a promising strategy to achieve the triple aim of improved quality, better experience, and lower cost of care. This group intends to figure out how to make that a reality.”

The task force will spend 2016 assembling a systems-change map that articulates precise, highly measurable outcomes that the task force believes the healthcare system must achieve by certain dates and in very specific cause-and-effect sequences. The purpose will be to spell out in specifics how the healthcare system might effectively evolve over a defined time period to achieve an ultimate outcome that is a measurable manifestation of the task force’s vision – a healthcare system in which physical activity-based behavior-change interventions are far more fundamental.

The task force will meet for dedicated planning sessions twice in 2016 – May 11-12 in Dallas/Ft. Worth and September 13-14 in Denver.

“Leading preventive-care and community health experts have called for widespread physical-activity counseling, particularly for those with or at risk for chronic conditions,” said Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), which is providing the funding that is making the Prescription for Activity Task Force possible. “This group will aim to identify how to evolve the healthcare system to one in which physical activity-based behavior-change counseling is available and widely utilized by all healthcare consumers seeking to prevent or manage disease.”

“ACE believes the future of fitness, and the future of prevention, is helping vastly more people – particularly those desperately in need of physical activity – to get and stay moving,” said Bryant. “ACE is honored that this esteemed group would convene to take on this most important problem-solving endeavor.” 

 See a full list of members of the Prescription for Activity Task Force here.  See a full list of members of the supporting Advisory Panel here.

The work of the task force will be facilitated by the strategic planning and facilitation firm Wolfe | Kinkennon.  Shane Kinkennon, a partner at the firm, will serve as project director.

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Benjamin Manley

Knapsack Creative, 1314 Jefferson Street, Lynchburg, VA, 24504