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Number 19: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Creating the Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

WHEREAS, in the United States, seven of ten deaths and the vast majority of serious illnesses, disabilities, and health care costs are caused by chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease; and

WHEREAS, more than 75% of health care expenditures in the United States are spent to meet the health needs of persons with chronic conditions; and

WHEREAS, key risk factors, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and tobacco use are major contributors to the nation’s leading causes of chronic disease and death; and

WHEREAS, 64% of Delawareans are either overweight or obese; and

WHEREAS, current estimates indicate that as much as $207 million in health care expenditures could be saved each year if excessive weight and obesity were eliminated in Delaware; and

WHEREAS, employers, including the State of Delaware, bear the financial burden of employee illness and lost productivity due to chronic illness, and a healthy workforce will improve Delaware’s ability to remain competitive in a changing economy; and

WHEREAS, health promotion is multi-faceted and must include a comprehensive, multi-sector approach in all areas where individuals live, learn, work and play to ensure the health, productivity, and well-being of all Delawareans; and

WHEREAS, First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a nationwide “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, do hereby DECLARE and ORDER that:

1. A Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is hereby established and its members are charged to advise the Governor and executive branch state agencies on the development and coordination of strategies, policies, programs and other actions state-wide to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic and lifestyle-related disease. The members of the Council shall represent a diverse state-wide population and include:

(a) The Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, the Department of Transportation, or their designees;

(b) The Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or their designees;

(c) The Insurance Commissioner of Delaware, or her designee;

(d) Two representatives of the Delaware House of Representatives, one of whom to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Speaker of the House, and the other of whom to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Minority Leader;

(e) Two representatives of the Delaware State Senate, one of whom to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President Pro Tempore, and the other of whom to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Minority Leader;

(f) The following members to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor:

i. One representative from the healthcare community;

ii. One representative from the insurance industry;

iii. One representative from an institution of higher education;

iv. One representative from the employer community; and

v. Three public members with relevant professional experience to provide expertise related to health promotion and disease prevention, especially among vulnerable and under-served populations.

2. The Council shall be led by a chairperson appointed by the Governor. The chairperson of the Council shall report to the Governor on the progress and recommendations of the Council on or before June 1, 2011 and periodically thereafter, but no less than once a year. The Council shall be terminated on December 31, 2015, if not reconstituted by further executive order.

3. Staff support for the Council shall be provided by the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Social Services.

4. Members of the Council shall:

(a) Conduct an assessment of the burden of lifestyle-related diseases in the State of Delaware;

(b) Review current health promotion recommendations and activities within state agencies and other organizations, such as the Healthy Delaware Foundation, the Delaware Coalition to Promote Healthy Eating and Active Living, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, the Christiana Care Health Services Obesity Coalition; the Delaware Cancer Consortium, the Delaware Healthy Mothers and Infants Consortium, the IMPACT Tobacco Coalition, the Delaware Bicycle Council, the Office of State Planning Coordination, and other non-profit agencies;

(c) Develop an overarching state-wide strategy on promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing lifestyle-related diseases in Delaware, including identification of any opportunities for grants or other assistance available under federal law or from the non-profit community;

(d) Advise the Governor and executive branch state agencies on policies and strategies that may be effective in the prevention of obesity and other lifestyle diseases in Delaware, with an emphasis on achieving the highest sustainable impact on the greatest number of individuals with the least amount of resources and on eliminating disparities in the incidence of obesity and other diseases; and

(e) Establish and track measurable outcomes for the reduction of obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases in Delaware.

5. In carrying out its charge, the Council shall endeavor to:

(a) Initially focus its efforts on the lifestyle risk factors that are the leading causes of death, disease, and disability, especially poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and tobacco use;

(b) Solicit the input, advice, and recommendations of organizations in the State whose aim is to promote healthy lifestyles. The Council may align efforts with existing committees, councils and organizations currently focused on health promotion and partner with public and private organizations and community leaders that support the goals of the Council;

(c) Coordinate with federal government agencies to maximize resources and information in order to ensure a comprehensive approach to health promotion;

(d) Assure that the State, as an employer, sets the standard for workplace health promotion and disease prevention, including healthy foods in vending machines, physical activity opportunities, and health promotion benefits to state employees and their families;

(e) Improve availability of physical activity opportunities and local, high quality fruits and vegetables for Delaware families, especially low-income families and seniors;

(f) Promote changes in the health care system so that health providers are educated and encouraged to prevent, identify and treat obesity;

(g) Reduce cultural, environmental and socioeconomic barriers to implementing health promotion initiatives in Delaware;

(h) Promote practices and policies in child care and school settings so that children, staff, and parents are educated and have opportunities to make healthy choices;

(i) Promote practices and policies in worksites so that employees are educated and have opportunities to make healthy choices; and

(j) Promote consistent messages through the public and private sector.

APPROVED this 20th day of May, 2010

Jack A. Markell, Governor