The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.

 

 



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Thursday
Apr232015

America Officially Has A New Doctor - And He's Committed To Prevention 

Back in December, I wrote about the confirmation of the 19th Surgeon General - Dr. Vivek Murthy - and how he and his mission could be good for our industry. Yesterday during his swearing in speech, he discussed his mission to create a stronger, healthier America. This mission focused on prevention, educaiton, and community.

After sharing his journey from childhood to the podium at which he stood, Murthy laid out the problems he intends to focus on, saying

"Today, we face a rising tide of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We will lose nearly half a million lives this year to tobacco-related disease. Forty-two million people in our country struggle with mental illness. Heroin and prescription drug abuse ravage towns across America, and vaccine-preventable diseases we thought we had contained have come back with a vengeance because of fear and misinformation."

On prevention, Murthy noted "Second, we will work to move from a culture of treatment to one of prevention. We lead the world in breakthroughs that create life-saving treatments. But while the mark of a great nation may be in how we care for our most vulnerable, the test of a strong nation is how good we are at keeping them from getting sick in the first place." He vowed to  "convene diverse partners to invest their energy and resources into building an America where every person gets the ounce of prevention... not just the pound of cure."

Health clubs and the industry have been talking about prevention for a long time. IHRSA helped lobby congress during the Clinton adminstration to enable insurance companies to continue offering healthy lifestyle initiatives, and was the only voice during that time focusing on non-clinical preventive measures such as diet and exercise. 

Dr. Murthy went on to talk about creating aculture of health - noting progress we've made in other areas such as tobacco smoking and car safety, expressing optimism about our ability to move in the right direction and vowing to provide evidence based answers to the pressing quetsions of the time.

He concluded talking about community, and its importance in chagning our health for the better. Murthy said "but one thing is certain: I cannot do it alone. If we are to truly be a stronger and healthier country, we must bring together all parts of our society to build the great American community."

One of the great drivers of health in the community is and will continue to be health clubs, offering programs and initiatives to create more exercisers in their neighborhoods, raising funds for local charitable causes, and providing a safe and supportive place for people to puruse an active lifestyle. It is great to see how well Dr. Murthy's vision for a stronger, healthier America aligns with ours. 

 

To read the full speech, visit the Surgeon General's website. To learn more about IHRSA's vision for a healthier world, check out our infographic.  

 

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