NCAH 2020 Annual Report

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2020 Annual Report


2020 Annual Report

Honestly, we really struggled with what to write here. We didn’t want to write a cliche letter about how difficult this year has been, how we shifted our priorities, overcame challenges, had successes, and how important it is that this work continues. You already know that, and you don’t need to hear it from us. So, instead, we decided you should hear from each other. After all, as a coalition, you are what drives our success. Throughout this report are comments from you – our members and partners. What we will say is how much we appreciate you, our colleagues and friends, and that we truly do look forward to continuing to advance equitable policies that reduce disparities, prevent chronic disease, and promote health alongside you in 2021. Warmly, Morgan Wittman Gramann Executive Director Marianne Hedrick Weant Programs Manager Katie Herndon Membership Engagement Coordinator


“Having lost a parent to tobacco use, tobacco control and prevention advocacy is extremely important to me. Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable deaths in North Carolina, impacting some communities more than others.... minorities, those with substance abuse/mental health issues, people with less education/income. Advocating for these communities to have their voices heard on issues impacting their health is essential to creating policies that protect everyone equitably. The Center for Black Health & Equity, a national organization based in Durham, is a proud member of The North Carolina Alliance for Health. As a member of NCAH we are able to contribute to efforts specific to NC along with our national reach.” MICHAEL SCOTT The Center for Black Health & Equity NCAH Board Member Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Committee Chair

“Growing up, I watched my grandfather struggle with the complications that come with type 2 diabetes. I know if he had more tools to manage the disease he could have suffered less and lived more fully. Everyone deserves to have both the knowledge and resources that allow them to live happy, healthy lives. Often geography, income, and other factors impact access to healthy food. Someone’s zip code should not determine their health outcomes. I am a member of the NC Alliance for Health because they are a voice for health equity across the state of North Carolina. NCAH fills a gap by advocating for people who do not have healthy food access in their communities. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is looking out for people like my grandfather.” RACHEL POHLMAN The Poe Center for Health Education NCAH Healthy Food Access Committee Chair

“The North Carolina Alliance for Health, provides valuable information within the state to positively advocate and impact programs surrounding active living, physical education, tobacco prevention, healthy food access, and more. Having this organization provides a wealth of knowledge throughout the state to empower programs, policies, advocacy, etc. among the communities throughout the state to impact each and every individual in North Carolina to live healthier lives. This organization is valuable to continue to positively enhance the future health of all North Carolina residents.” DEIRDRE MOYER Rockingham County Schools NCAH Active Living Committee Chair


North Carolina Alliance for Health

2020 Highlights CO-HOSTED ONE VIRTUAL CANDIDATE FORUM ON FARMS, FOOD, AND HUNGER

ORGANIZED FOUR LETTER CAMPAIGNS URGING FUNDING SUPPORT FOR NUTRITION PROGRAMS INCLUDING SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS AND SNAP, WIC, AND CACFP

BROADCAST 18 MORNINGS WITH MORGAN EPISODES

HOSTED A 3-PART SERIES ON BLACKISM OR FOODISM?: A GROWING AMERICAN DILEMMA WITH CHEF KABUI

PARTICIPATED IN A 21-DAY RACIAL EQUITY HABIT BUILDING CHALLENGE

BROADCAST 18 VOICES OF HUNGER IN NORTH CAROLINA EPISODES, SHARING STORIES FROM 10 COUNTIES

SUBMITTED 10 SUCCESSFUL POLICY ASKS

SECURED $103 MILLION IN APPROPRIATIONS


EXPANDED TO THREE FULL-TIME STAFF MEMBERS HOSTED FOUR STUDENT INTERNS GREW TO 55 MEMBERS & 188 PARTNERS



Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation 2020 Policy Priorities • Promote a policy that establishes licensing for retailers selling tobacco products in North Carolina • Promote recurring appropriations for robust and evidence-based tobacco prevention and cessation programs and services • Promote strategies that address the vaping crisis and epidemic

Progress This session, as COVID-19 began to impact our state, we faced serious shortages of revenue. We were able to protect tobacco use cessation funding and build champions for tobacco use prevention and cessation campaigns in the future. Our requests for tobacco use prevention and cessation funding were supported by the Child Fatality Task Force, Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force, and the Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control. At the same time, tobaccofree policies continued to be passed at the local level, spearheaded by our partners and members. “The American Lung Association has long valued public policy as a means to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. And in North Carolina there is no better partner in this quest than the North Carolina Alliance for Health. Their work in reducing the impact of tobacco use and chronic disease, and commitment to advancing equitable policies that reduce health disparities is moving North Carolina toward a healthier future. Membership in the Alliance brings many benefits including opportunities to collaborate with top public health advocates, access to leaders that shape public policy, and information you can count on. What could be better than that?” JUNE DEEN American Lung Association

What’s next? The work isn’t done yet. NC’s laws need to be updated to reflect changes in federal policy, particularly our youth access to tobacco law. We also need to preserve and increase recurring tobacco use prevention and cessation funding, restore local control, and address other statutory changes that would decrease tobacco use and improve the health of North Carolinians. We look forward to doing this work in 2021! To learn more about NCAH’s active living priorities, visit ncallianceforhealth.org/tobacco-use-prevention


Healthy Food Access 2020 Policy Priorities • Promote evidence-based and/or evidence-informed policies and appropriations \for healthy food financing initiatives, farm to school programs, farm to early care and education programs, food and nutrition services, and other policies that reduce food insecurity and improve access to healthy food • Support efforts to ensure water is free, clean, safe, and accessible in school and early care and education settings • Support improvements to statewide Division of Child Development and Early Education childcare regulation standards addressing evidence-based best practices in infant and child nutrition, including breastfeeding, and support the creation of statewide designation or recognition of programs that meet best practices

Progress • $12M for the North Carolina Feeding the Carolinas food banks • $75M for SNPs for operations and innovative meals • $12M for SNPs to deliver meals with yellow buses • $3.9M to eliminate the reduced-price lunch copay • Supported the extension of USDA waivers for federal nutrition programs • Helped prevent the passage of additional reporting requirements for SNAP and TANF “As someone who works on early childhood issues, I know that children can’t advocate for themselves and their parents and family members are often too busy providing and caring to devote time to advocacy. That’s why it’s vital to have others who are willing to step up and be a voice for children and families. Whether it’s representing an organization or speaking out as a concerned citizen, whether it’s meeting with a legislator or building awareness in the community, we all have a role to play in advancing policies that support healthy, happy children and families.” MICHAEL WELKER North Carolina Partnership for Children

What’s next? Food insecurity has increased significantly this year in North Carolina. In 2021, we will continue to seek increased funding for and access to food assistance programs, food banks, school meals, and other policies and programs that ensure all North Carolinians have access to healthy food. To learn more about NCAH’s active living priorities, visit www.ncallianceforhealth.org/healthy-food-access


Active Living 2020 Policy Priorities • Support physical education and opportunities for physical activity in schools • Support the ability of communities to promote access to routine physical activity • Support improvements to statewide Division of Child Development and Early Education childcare regulation standards addressing evidence-based best practices in infant and child outdoor learning and play, physical activity, and screen time and support the creation of statewide designation or recognition of programs that meet best practices

Progress As COVID-19 closed school buildings and kept families home, NCAH developed educational materials and supported members and partners in sharing critical resources about being active and doing so safely. NCAH also promoted resources for teachers to help keep kids active during virtual learning sessions. “The NC Alliance of YMCAs has been working for the past seven years as part of the CDC’s efforts and the former Surgeon General’s efforts to promote walking as safe and affordable way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The safety of physical activity outdoors is dependent on infrastructure – safe and well maintained sidewalks that are interconnected and lead to destinations of interest, lighting, and other amenities. Funding for this work is challenging, so our advocacy efforts have focused on ensuring state lawmakers prioritize funding for infrastructure improvements that make walking – and bicycling – safe and accessible to all.” SHEREE VODICKA NC Alliance of YMCAs

“Advocacy is so important in our profession as we always need to educate others that this isn’t the old PE. Physical Education and Health Education have both changed greatly to be more inclusive of social, emotional, inclusive physical education and skills based decision making health education. Students who receive effective physical and health education and have the opportunity to learn (have enough time) have shown to be more active adults. KYMM BALLARD NCSHAPE

What’s next? COVID-19 has highlighted how critical it is that communities have safe spaces to be active. In 2021, NCAH will continue to work to make statutory changes to allow communities to fund critical bicycle and pedestrian projects. NCAH will also continue to promote the importance of safe routes to schools, which has become even more urgent with the need for social distancing on school buses. To learn more about NCAH’s active living priorities, visit www.ncallianceforhealth.org/active-living


Thank you to all of our individual and organizational members

Thank you to our funders • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger • National Network of Libraries of Medicine


Board of Directors Sarah Jacobson, Chair Pamela Perry, Vice-Chair Jan Jones, Secretary Roxanne Elliott, Treasurer Michael Scott, CHES, Tobacco Use Prevention Committee Chair Deirdre Moyer, PhD, Active Living Committee Chair Henry Crews, Healthy Food Access Committee Chair Gregg Stave, MD, JD, MPH, At-Large Alyssa Mouton, MPH, At-Large

Our Commitment to Equity Equity is core to public health. This year, you have worked with us to identify shared values and rewrite our priorities to reinvent systems that affect our health so that they benefit all North Carolinians. NCAH has more intentionally centered equity, and we have worked, and we will continue to work, to address our own biases and the ways in which we perpetuate prejudices.

“Tobacco companies continue to target certain communities unfairly, contributing to health inequities. This includes Indigenous people, youth, Black people, Hispanic/Latinx people, low socioeconomic status people, LGBTQ+ people, and also people living with mental illness. This year, NCAH's state policy advocacy protected crucial tobacco prevention funding in the face of anticipated budget shortfalls. This funding is truly what enables local health departments to address tobacco-related health inequities. Crucially, this includes addressing use of harmful ecigarette and vaping products that have successfully attracted North Carolina youth at alarming rates. Unfortunately, most of us today still know someone who has been harmed or killed by tobacco products. NCAH's tobacco prevention advocacy is working to change this narrative for North Carolinians.” ALYSSA MOUTON NCAH Board Member


Become a member of NCAH: www.ncallianceforhealth.org/ become-a-member Donate to support NCAH’s work: www.ncallianceforhealth.org/donate

To listen to Mornings with Morgan or Voices of Hunger in North Carolina: soundcloud.com/nc-alliance-for-health

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