Genetics, environment and access to medical care all contribute to our overall health, but lifestyle and behavior play a far more important role. In fact, approximately half of our health status is determined by our choices about diet, physical activity and tobacco use. These choices also have a significant impact on the communities in which we live, as many of the leading causes of death are chronic diseases that can be influenced by lifestyle.
On March 11, a special Summit on Public Health will explore ways that healthy lifestyles can promote individual and community health in the Miami Valley. The daylong event will feature presentations and workshops on topics such as children's health, nutrition, physical activity, health disparities and cultural issues and the importance of addressing chronic disease as a public health issue at the community level.
Keynote speaker Steven Aldana, Ph.D., has published more than 60 articles and seven books on ways lifestyle habits can help to prevent, mitigate or reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In addition to sharing his expertise with some of the nation's largest companies, Dr. Aldana has regularly served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. During two morning presentations, Dr. Aldana will discuss how to increase longevity through lifestyle choices, and why it is essential and effective to create healthy lifestyle initiatives as a matter of public policy.
The summit is cosponsored by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine's Center for Global Health Systems, Management, and Policy; Public Health—Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC); Sinclair Community College; and the Hittner Community Health Event. During the summit, Montgomery County Health Commissioner James Gross will present "GetUp Montgomery County," a new countywide initiative to promote healthy lifestyles.
The summit will conclude with a summary of recommendations developed by participants to create partnerships within the local public health system and to develop population-level initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles.