Friends of School Health Update:
The Society's Advocacy, Policy and Legislative (AP&L)
Committee recently facilitated two meetings of the Friends
of School Health (FOSH). In July, AP&L Chair, Martha Harris,
facilitated an in-person meeting with member organizations at
the American Psychological Association (APA). A conference call followed to refine a mission statement for FOSH. Much of the July meeting focused on the Preventive Health provisions of the pending health care reform legislation. As advocacy organizations concerned about school health, the Society and the other member organizations of FOSH, have been writing letters and discussing ways to strengthen the preventative health provisions to ensure that schools are prominently mentioned as providers of community health services and health education resources. The October FOSH conference call reinforced the need for each organization to contact key members of Congress to ensure that this message is heard. Richard Hamburg of the Trust for America’s Health predicted that up to $20 billion will be available over time to fund the community wellness/disease prevention activities. The Trust for America’s Health is maintaining a list of organizations that have written to President Obama and Congress to convey their support for including schools in the preventive health provisions of the legislation. Letters that have already been submitted, can be viewed on the Trust's website at www.healthyamericans.org.