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Hospitality program
offers a Square Toast

Students meet needs
of children in Belize

New master’s programs prepare professionals

Alumna returns to teach

New staff, faculty
round out school

Social work professor
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Presidential Debate 2008

Panel pushes prevention for health-care reform

National health-care reform will undoubtedly play a part in the upcoming presidential election, but where do the candidates stand?

That question will be the topic for a panel of health-care experts appearing Sept. 8 on The University of Mississippi campus. The panel, set for 7 p.m. at Fulton Chapel, will precede the first presidential debate of 2008 taking place on the UM campus Sept. 26.

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The panel will look at issues related to moving the U.S. health-care system toward models for prevention, as opposed to models for treatment, said Marie Barnard, assistant dean in the School of Applied Sciences.

With national rates of obesity on the rise and similar increases in related chronic diseases expected, policy makers should be leading the way in designing new systems of care, coverage and prevention, Barnard said.

Sponsored by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, the panel will have four main speakers. Therese Hanna, executive director of the Center for Mississippi Health Policy, will make an introductory statement and issue a charge for national movement on this issue. After her statement, Dr. Steven Blair, sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine, will address health-care policy issues associated with physical activity. Dr. Evelyn Crayton, a representative of the American Dietetic Association, will address policy issues related to nutrition. John Clymer, president of Partnership for Prevention, will address issues related to keeping Americans healthy while controlling health-care costs. The university has invited each of the campaigns to send a representative to participate in the panels as well.

 “Health care is one of voters’ top concerns. This forum will address the twin challenges of making America a healthier nation and making quality, affordable health care accessible to every American who works hard and plays by the rules,” said Clymer, whose organization developed a framework for health reform that presidential candidates and congressional leaders are using as they formulate their proposals.

“National health-care reform has emerged as an important topic for the 2008 presidential race,” said Mark Loftin, chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management. “Paramount to reform is a shift from treatment to prevention. Mississippi leads the nation in many unhealthy behaviors, including the highest level of obesity.”

Loftin added the panel discussion, “National Health-Care Reform: Moving from Treatment to Prevention,” will focus on obesity issues, including the role of energy input (food intake) and energy output (physical activity) as preventive measures.

The goal of the panel discussion is to make a national case for the need to broaden the health-care policy debate to focus on the role of prevention in the health-care system.

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