What & Why We Advocate
Ted devotes approximately half of the work of ConscienHealth to pro bono service for nonprofit health and obesity organizations. Ted works on behalf of obesity advocacy groups, recognizing that individuals affected by obesity need a voice, information, and access to treatment for better health. Ted believes public outreach and education are critical to progress in addressing obesity as a health issue.
Consistent with this ethic, Ted and his affiliates at ConscienHealth actively serve and support the work of the organizations below. Recognizing the importance and value of this work, in 2012, the Obesity Society awarded the Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service to Ted.
The Obesity Society: Advocacy Committee Chair
Ted was among the first members of the TOS Advocacy Task Force organized and led by Dick Atkinson in 2008. In 2009, Ted was appointed to chair the task force. Under Ted’s leadership, the task force identified three priorities the group has pursued consistently since then: increased research funding, evidence-based intervention, and advocacy to reduce weight bias. As the work of the task force grew, the TOS Council decided to combine the Advocacy and Weight Bias Task Forces and elevate the combined group to a standing committee of the Obesity Society in 2011, which Ted has continued to chair.
Through active participation of many talented TOS members, the Advocacy Committee has made great progress against its goals. Most notably, TOS has established a dramatically higher profile for the society with health policy makers. Two developments, in particular, have made this possible. First, Ted has fostered a high level of collaboration for advocacy between TOS and other leading obesity organizations: the Obesity Action Coalition, ASMBS, the STOP Obesity Alliance of George Washington University, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Second, Ted helped TOS to secure the services of a Washington policy advisor, Potomac Currents, with deep experience in health and obesity policy.
Ted has devoted much of his professional activities and time to pro bono advocacy for better access to treatment for obesity. He has made numerous trips to DC for Hill visits, FDA testimony for a more balanced approach to new treatments, organized four Advocacy Forums for the TOS annual meeting, and led other important outreach activities on behalf of TOS.
Obesity Action Coalition: National Board of Directors
As the only nonprofit organization solely representing individuals affected by obesity, the Obesity Action Coalition has since its founding in 2005 remained at the forefront of the fight against obesity. It raises awareness of the disease of obesity and works to ensure access to safe and effective treatment options and to eradicate the negative bias and stigma associated with it. As part of its work, the OAC produces educational resources and advocates on Capitol Hill for access to obesity treatments.
Ted has worked as an advocate in Washington, DC, and has written articles for Your Weight Matters, the OAC magazine. As a member of the OAC Board of Directors, Ted contributes to FDA hearings on obesity treatments and press releases on obesity topics in the news.
STOP Obesity Alliance, George Washington University School of Public Health: Steering Committee
The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance is a collaboration of consumer, provider, government, labor, business, health insurers, and quality-of-care organizations united to drive innovative and practical strategies that combat obesity. With the goal of helping to reverse America’s rising trend in obesity and related health conditions, the Alliance seeks to foster change in society’s perceptions of, and approaches to, preventing and treating obesity in the context of the real-world environment in which we live.
The STOP Obesity Alliance operates out of the Department of Health Policy of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, under the Direction of Christine Ferguson, JD, and Scott Kahan, MD, MPH.
The Alliance has formed a uniquely broad collaboration of more than 50 influential stakeholders dedicated to reversing the obesity epidemic in America. Ted serves on the alliance steering committee, representing TOS and providing expert guidance on strategic initiatives of the alliance.
Building Healthier America: Board of Directors
Building Healthier America is a national nonprofit organization that works to build a sustainable national culture of healthy behavior requiring change in individual behavior and change at the community level. BHA is dedicated to Consumer Awakening and Community Empowerment to reverse the obesity trends facing children, families, and communities.