October 18, 2012
I had the opportunity to join an esteemed panel of health care and policy experts at The Washington Post this week for a panel event “The Check-up: Noncommunicable Diseases,” to revisit issues addressed last September at the United Nations summit on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The panel included a variety of thought leaders gathered to identify the progress made over the last year and highlight the projects yielding the greatest success.
Several priorities were discussed and strategies highlighted by each of the panelists. Those present came from a broad spectrum of interests but with a shared goal of advancing solutions to decrease NCDs and the common thread raised continually throughout the conversation was the imperative nature of collaboration between the public and private sectors. Some other notable points included:
- Staging and prioritizing action with a long-term view is critical
- Research and evaluation are only as important as the success by which they are implemented
- International solidarity is needed in action and education
- Diversifying partnerships is the key to injecting the importance of health in all developing policies
- There is a necessity for discipline in assessing and addressing the areas ripest for change
By highlighting successful and scalable programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program, I was able to emphasize the value of implementing programs that we know are already making progress towards better health outcomes. As the Partnership for Chronic Disease (PFCD) has long professed, leadership from both government and the private sector is essential to all efforts aimed at averting, detecting and effectively managing chronic disease. Convening influential voices to maximize advocacy, share knowledge and better translate what this all means in government policy, in the media and most importantly across the population is a another positive step in the fight against chronic disease.