Chronic Disease

One participant acknowledged that organizations need to be responsive to their membership, but asked why they have not demonstrated more leadership in managing chronic disease. Morgan responded that meeting agendas are based on topic submissions, and opined that this begs a much larger question—namely, why are providers not placing importance on chronic disease? Benjamin stated that the APHA does address chronic disease both locally and internationally, but is focusing on primary prevention, the built environment (e.g., food systems, transportation), and social determinants of health as approaches to addressing chronic diseases. He noted that the APHA is certainly involved in all the clinical preventive health services, and they advocated for the $15 billion prevention fund of the ACA that targets physical inactivity, nutrition, and tobacco. Benjamin added that these areas are tied to the leading causes of death and disability (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer, some injuries, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Benjamin stated that we need to get people into healthier lifestyles from earlier on in their lives to change communities and prevent much of the chronic disease we are seeing. He further added that there has been an enormous assault on the public health prevention fund as well as money for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the APHA has been focused on preserving the core funding for infrastructure and public health. Ferguson noted that home telehealth and remote patient monitoring has been the largest growing sector of the telehealth industry, and the ATA does have a significant industry representation in its membership and is doing everything it can within its scope to be involved in these issues.



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