2017 Summit Sessions

United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA pictured speaking at Partnership for a Healthier America's 2016 Building a Healthier Future Summit.

Former United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA at the 2016 Building a Healthier Future Summit.

The 2017 Building a Healthier Future Summit features top industry experts and corporate leaders speaking on topics from the future of food to building a culture of wellness. Breakouts focus on supply- and demand-side solutions to build a healthier future.

See below to find out more about our 2017 Plenary and Breakout sessions.

2017 Plenary Sessions

Entrepreneur Perspective: The Future of Food

What does the future of food and nutrition look like? As our population grows in diversity, nutrition science continues to evolve and our food choices expand – yet a significant percentage of the population remains limited in its access to healthier foods, directly impacting rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Hear from innovative leaders at cutting-edge start-ups who are rethinking the way we produce and sell food to improve health for all.

  • Neil Grimmer, Founder and CEO, the Habit
  • Dr. James Rogers, Founder, Apeel Sciences
  • Seth Goldman, Executive Chairman, Beyond Meat
  • Linda Henry, Managing Director, The Boston Globe and Co-Founder, HUBweek (Moderator)

Childhood Adversity: An Urgent Public Health Crisis

High doses of adversity from experiences such as abuse, neglect or household dysfunction not only affect the structure and function of children’s developing brains, they also affect their developing hormonal and immune systems, and even the way DNA is read and transcribed. These biological changes are known as “toxic stress.” Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness – a nationally recognized pediatric health organization based in San Francisco – will explain how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can harm the developing brains and bodies of children, as well as how we can respond.

Housing and Health: The Next ‘Green’ Movement

Our bodies are designed to move and our homes should be designed to help us do so. Yet, many American families do not have access to safe, outside spaces for exercise or live in housing that encourages physical activity. This is beginning to change. Coined the new “green building” movement, “healthy housing” programs have become a growing priority for housing developers. Thought leaders from the public, private, and financial sectors will share the latest initiatives that are prioritizing health in the design and development of affordable housing.

  • Bob Simpson, Vice President, Affordable Housing, Fannie Mae
  • Les Bluestone, Co-Founder Blue Sea Development Company and Blue Sea Construction Co.
  • Lisa Ross, APCO (Moderator)

Driving Health Through Access

The link between food and health is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in low-income communities, where access to affordable produce, whole grains, and other health-promoting foods is low and rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related illnesses are high. How do we meet the challenge of expanding healthier food options for people who have no income and rely on emergency food assistance, and for people who have limited incomes and lack access to grocery stores?

Highlights from the 2016 Building a Healthier Future Summit.

2017 Breakout Sessions

Thursday, May 11 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Get in the Game: Building Access to Play

Safe, accessible parks and recreational facilities are essential for fostering active and healthy lifestyles, yet kids growing up in low-income neighborhoods disproportionately lack access to such spaces. Securing funding to build or renovate facilities – especially in low-income areas – is often a struggle. Leaders from nonprofits, private companies and foundations will discuss how they are working with local communities to expand access to quality places to play.

Public-Private Partnership: Working Together to Fight Diabetes

Learn about Cities Changing Diabetes-Houston: a unique public-private partnership with a mission to understand the factors that contribute to diabetes in an urban setting, along with how to jointly develop solutions that address those factors. A diverse panel of stakeholders will discuss the research that profiled Houston’s vulnerability to diabetes; the process of bringing together stakeholders to develop solutions; and the projects underway to prevent and better manage diabetes among Houston residents.

  • Karin Gillespie, Associate Director, Public Policy, Novo Nordisk (Moderator)
  • George Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, Fountain of Praise Church
  • Faith Foreman, Assistant Director, Houston Health Department
  • Joy Cornthwaite, Certified Diabetes Educator at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

All The News That’s Fit to Print

Think reporters are ignoring you? Join us for a panel discussion with national print, radio and TV reporters who will talk about trends in the industry, share what’s happening behind the scenes of newsrooms and provide candid advice about what makes a great story. For the (optional) bonus round: step up to the microphone for a “pitch slam,” a chance to pitch your best story idea in 60 seconds and obtain real-time feedback from the panel. Who knows – yours may be just the story they’ve been looking for!

  • Linda Henry, Managing Director, Managing Director, The Boston Globe and Co-Founder, HUBweek (Moderator)
  • Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post
  • Allison Aubrey, NPR
  • Helena Bottemiller Evich, Senior Food and Agriculture Reporter, Politico
  • James Hamblin, MD, Senior Editor for The Atlantic

Access to Nutrition U.S. Index Information Session

The Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF) encourages food and beverage manufacturers to increase consumers’ access to healthy products and influence consumer choice and behavior. ATNF’s benchmark tool for the industry – the Global Index – ranks food and beverage manufacturers on their nutrition policies and performances. It is now in the early stages of developing the first Access to Nutrition Index for the US. Victoria Brown, Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Inge Kauer, the Director of ATNF, will discuss the US Index as well as what American companies can do to improve nutrition.

Thursday, May 11 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Building a Culture of Wellness: Rocco DiSpirito & Jenna Wolfe

Join Rocco DiSpirito, a James Beard award-winning chef and health advocate, and TV Fitness Correspondent & Expert Jenna Wolfe, for a session on building a culture of wellness. Rocco and Jenna will share practical advice for creating healthier, more productive work and living environments as they lead the audience in fitness routines; demonstrate easy, healthy recipes; and provide lifestyle and nutrition advice.

Hurdling Barriers: Physical Activity and Girls of Color

Numerous cultural barriers have been associated with the obesity-related challenges faced by girls of color. While programs exist that encourage girls to participate in physical activity through their adolescent years, few address these barriers faced by African American, Hispanic and Native American girls. How can we close the gap to ensure that all girls have equal access to opportunities for activities that help them maintain a healthy weight? Join us for a robust discussion on breaking down the barriers to access.

Funders Perspective: A Town Hall Forum

Through changes in public policies, school and neighborhood settings and the consumer marketplace, we’re beginning to see signs of progress in the effort to ensure that every child grows up at a healthy weight. But much more remains to be done. Hear from leading foundations as they share their perspectives on the most promising paths forward and take your questions and feedback as to what more we can do together.

Getting Kids to Eat the Rainbow

While recent data show that children are eating more fruit, they’re still well behind public health recommendations on fruit and vegetable intake overall. Everyone has a role to play in helping children meet their recommended daily servings, from childcare providers to schools to industry. Join us for a review of the latest data, information about promising programs and a discussion of what more we can do together to get kids to think positively about healthier food choices.

  • Dr. Diane Harris, Health Scientist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Nona Evans, President and Executive Director, Whole Kids Foundation
  • Emily Swartzlander, Senior Program Manager of Community Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • John O’Connell, Director – Food & Beverage, Americas Region, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
  • Liz Vaccarielo, Editor in Chief, Parents Magazine (Moderator)

Friday, May 12 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Back to Basics: The Power of Cooking

There are health, emotional and academic benefits that come from teaching a child to cook. Doing so can be a key tactic for families looking to eat more healthfully at home. Learn and experience how private sector organizations are using strategic programs and investments to encourage families to cook and eat at home together more often.

  • Janie Wilson, 2014 Ben’s Beginners Winner, Mars Food
  • Fatima De La O, Share Our Strength/Cooking Matters
  • Pati Jinich, Chef, PBS TV Host, and Cookbook Author
  • Lynya Floyd, Health Director, Family Circle (Moderator)

No Sugar Coating It

Striking a balance between consumers’ perennial desire for sweet-tasting products and their efforts to eat healthier isn’t easy. Soon, the food industry will also be confronted with new labeling requirements that highlight the amount of added sugars in foods and beverages. Senior executives share their ingredient, product and portion solutions to reducing sugar consumption, the challenges they face in meeting consumer taste expectations and strategies to deliver fewer calories and added sugars.

  • Abigail Storms, Vice President, Sweetener Platform Innovation, Tate & Lyle
  • Matthias Berninger, Global VP for Public Affairs, Mars Incorporated
  • Bruce McGoogan, Strategy & Innovation Leader, Cargill Starches & Sweeteners
  • Hank Cardello, Senior Fellow & Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute (Moderator)

Emerging Science: New Pathways to Health

How do your sleep patterns affect your weight? What relationship does light have to food storage, sleep patterns and weight management? What is the latest research on gut health, probiotics and microbiomes and how are these related to managing a healthy weight? Join a panel of experts as they share the latest science behind these new, emerging pathways to health.

Can We Save Both? Creating Healthier Children and a Healthier Earth

Generating a love for the outdoors encourages physical activity and promotes a desire to preserve it. At a time when the health of our children and the health of our planet are both equally in doubt, this session will explore how the health and environmental communities are developing actionable ways to merge efforts, increase access to nature, and ultimately build a healthier future for children.

  • Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club, Outdoor Alliance for Kids (Moderator)
  • Matt Liddle, REI
  • Juan Martinez, Director of Leadership, Children and Nature Network
  • Dr. Nooshin Razani, UCSF
  • Scott Welch, Columbia Sportswear

Champion Spotlight: Daniel Giusti

What could inspire the head chef of one of the best restaurants in the world to quit his job? The opportunity to change the way kids eat, of course! Join us for a one-on-one conversation with Daniel Giusti, former chef at Noma, now running Brigaid — a company that seeks to change the entire school food environment, from the inside out.

  • Daniel Giusti, Celebrity Chef and Founder, Brigaid
  • Adrienne Weil, Partnership for a Healthier America (Moderator)