Blueprint Conference - Beyond Chronic Care

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2007

Media Contact: Communication Office

BURLINGTON – Chronic conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability and death, and touch the lives of most Vermonters. Fifty-five percent of adult Vermonters have a chronic disease or condition. Eighty-eight percent of the state’s population over the age of 65 suffers from one or more chronic conditions. 

The fourth annual Vermont Blueprint for Health Conference “Beyond Chronic Care,” will emphasize why Vermont needs to invest in chronic disease prevention activities and will illustrate the impact of community influences, environmental factors and policy issues on chronic disease prevalence.

The conference will be held on Friday, April 20, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington. 

“Lifestyle factors - greatly influenced by physical, social and cultural environments - have a tremendous impact on the development of chronic disease,” said acting Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN.

“Communities play a key role in the success of individuals adopting health lifestyles. As communities embrace their role as promoters of healthy behavior and ensure that the services and the community environment are in place, we begin to see the broad and lasting benefits of the Blueprint model.”

Initiated by Gov. Jim Douglas, the Vermont Blueprint for Health is a public-private partnership aimed at improving health and health care for people living with chronic conditions.  

Gov. Douglas and Commissioner Moffatt and will provide opening remarks at the conference at 8:45 a.m.

Two nationally distinguished health experts will speak at this year's conference. Elliott S. Fisher, MD, MPH, professor at Dartmouth Medical School and the Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences (CECS), will discuss his research on the causes of geographic variations in medical practice and spending, and the potential for harm caused by too much medical care.

Larry Cohen, MSW, founder and executive director of the Prevention Institute in Oakland, will deliver the keynote address. Mr. Cohen has been an advocate for public health and primary prevention for over 30 years. He formed the first coalition in the nation to change tobacco policy and helped to catalyze the nation’s food labeling law.

Cohen speaks nationally on primary prevention in areas such as health disparities, nutrition and physical activity and violence prevention.

The conference will also feature a panel discussion and poster presentations highlighting local initiatives aimed at preventing and managing chronic disease. The conference is presented by the Department of Health and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. There is still time to register for the conference online or — or by calling 802-656-2292.

The conference is $50 for general admission, $75 for nurses (with CEUs) and $125 for physicians (with CMEs).

Registration will also be available on-site the day of the conference.


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