Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Meet our keynote speaker for the 2013 Award Ceremony, Dr. Eduardo Sanchez

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Take a moment to learn more about the keynote speaker for the 2013 Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony, Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, and join us on September 12th as we recognize the 2013 award winners, Dr. Bill Squires and H-E-B.

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez has devoted himself to public health for most of his medical career. “I’m committed to doing what I can to improve the health of the communities I’m in, the family I’m a part of, the state I live in, the country, and the whole world,” he says [1]. As keynote speaker at the Texas Health Champion award ceremony, Dr. Sanchez will address one of the most challenging public health issues facing America: childhood obesity.

Dr. Sanchez began his work as a public health officer for Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Furthering his love of public health, he became the Texas Health Commissioner and then as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Today he serves as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Heart Association (AHA), which works to improve the cardiac health of the American public.

Throughout his time in public health, he has worked to address the specific problem of obesity. As Health Commissioner, he traveled across Texas with then Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs raising awareness about the issue. Currently, he serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) board, which has recently partnered with AHA in a nation-wide initiative to combat obesity, “Voices for Healthy Kids”. His keynote speech, entitled “Childhood Obesity in Texas: Where Are We Now?,” will draw upon his considerable experience fighting obesity at local, state, and national levels.

So where are we now? A recent report from RWJF and Trust for America’s Health called “F as in Fat” announced a slowing in the obesity epidemic. Obesity rates have stopped their pattern of increase, instead remaining level in 49 states. However, the rates are still incredibly high—double what they were 30 years ago.

As Dr. Sanchez says, “This is a marathon. When you get to your first water station, you should be proud you got there, but there’s some more steps to be taken to reach the finish line.[2]” Dr. Sanchez’s speech will outline the steps necessary to get there.

Texas-based grocery store H-E-B and Dr. Bill Squires are the 2013 Texas Health Champions. The awards will be presented at the 6th Annual Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony on Thursday, September 12th in Austin.  The event aims to inspire the community to action and enliven the discussion on next steps in solving the obesity crisis.  The award ceremony will include a keynote address from Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of American Heart Association, and will be preceded by a resource fair and networking reception (heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided). 

Written by
Jessica Bickel-Barlow

Jessica Bickel-Barlow just completed her sophomore year at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is pursuing a double major in Radio, Television, Film (RTVF) and English Literature and a minor in Theater. This summer she has been keeping busy with internships at Austin Film Festival and Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp as well as with her work in the Communications Department at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living.

1. Parent Earth, Eduardo Sanchez: Parent Earth Profile,
2. be smart. be well. Childhood Obesity: Are We Winning?,