2005 Season

2005 Season

Healthwise: Senior Health

Americans are living longer than ever as a result of advances in medicine. A byproduct of our successes in this area is an ever-increasing aging population whose health and well-being has never been as significant a national and state issue as it is today. According to a 2003 report from the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Division of Aging, the state ranks 10th in the nation in the number of older persons, with about 2.3 million residents age 50 and older - that represents 28 percent of the total North Carolina population. The health issues for people age 50 and older range from osteoporosis and Alzheimer's to prescription drug management and eldercare quality. North Carolina Now correspondent Christine Rogers moderates a panel of leading experts to discuss the health issues affecting North Carolina's older population on Healthwise: Senior Health.


Mary Bethel
Associate State Director for Advocacy, AARP North Carolina
Ms. Bethel works to develop and implement AARP advocacy activities and initiatives in the state. Prior to coming to AARP in October of 2005, she worked for over 28 years with the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services where she served in a variety of administrative and program capacities. While at the Division, she served as lead staff person for external and legislative affairs, for matters related to consumer advocacy, for health promotion program efforts, for issues related to prescription drug assistance, and for matters related to special population groups. She also provided staff support to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging and to the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature.

Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW
Director, Duke Aging Center Family Support Program
Education Director, Duke's Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Ms. Gwyther is a social worker with over 35 years experience working with older people and their families, including twenty-eight years at Duke University Medical Center.  Ms. Gwyther directs the Duke Aging Center Family Support Program, a state-funded central information clearinghouse for families and professionals caring for people with memory disorders or other chronic late-life conditions. She is the education director of Duke's Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  She has published widely on Alzheimer's disease and family caregiving.

Dennis W. Streets, MPH, MAT, LNHA
Chief of the Planning, Budget and Systems Support Section of the Division of Aging and Adult Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services
Mr. Streets' responsibilities include facilitation of the Division’s overall strategic planning, program evaluation, and systems and resource development activities for older North Carolinians and for aging in North Carolina; facilitation of the internal operations of the Division through joint planning and communications; promotion of the State's 17 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) as an effective extension and partner of the Division; identification and pursuit of opportunities for grants, student internships, public and private partnerships, and other means of increasing the capacity of the Division; oversight of a comprehensive repository of data and information on aging; production of reports, papers, articles, and other means of communicating news, issues and recommendations relevant to aging policies and programs; and oversight of the Division’s web site as a means of communicating to older adults, family caregivers, aging boomers, local service providers, students, policymakers, and the general public.
(Still awaiting complete bio)

Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine, Gerontology and Geriatrics, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Dr. Kritchevsky specializes in research related to the benefits of exercise and good nutrition for seniors. He also is the Research Director of the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging. Dr. Kritchevsky is an epidemiologist who studies the role of diet and exercise in preventing the development of disability in older adults.

Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead
UNC-Chapel Hill Program on Aging
Division Chief, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD, is the director of the Program on Aging at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, as well as professor and chief in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX. A fellowship-trained geriatrician, she is board certified in internal medicine. In 1994 she joined the faculty at the UNC School of Medicine, where she serves on numerous boards and committees that focus on the medical care of older adults.

She has many areas of expertise in the care of elderly patients, but one of her main interests at the present moment is the strengthening of training of physicians in how to care for senior adults, a challenge she is meeting with support from a prestigious Donald W. Reynolds Foundation grant to develop comprehensive programs to improve physician’s training in geriatrics. The White House recently showed its acknowledgment of Dr. Busby-Whitehead’s leadership in this area when it invited her to participate in the White House Conference on Aging.

Dr. Tony Galanos
Center for Palliative Care
Duke University Medical Center
Dr. Tony Galanos is a geriatrician, a senior researcher in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke, Clinical Director of the Palliative Care service at Duke, and Medical Director of Geriatric Medicine Associates at DUMC.  His interests are Continuing Care Retirement Communities and hospital care of the older patient.

Healthwise: Mental Health

According to a 2005 report from the DHHS State Health Plan ap proximately 5.4 percent of the adult population in North Carolina has a diagnosable mental health disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anger management, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder might be some of the more commonly known mental health disorders that people in North Carolina and across the country deal with on a daily basis.

On April 29, 2002, President George W. Bush identified three obstacles preventing Americans with mental illnesses from getting the excellent care they deserve: stigma that surrounds mental illnesses; unfair treatment limitations and financial requirements placed on mental health benefits in private health insurance, and the fragmented mental health service delivery system. The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has identified several goals that will build a foundation for transforming mental health care in America. The first goal they cited was for Americans to understand that mental health is essential to overall health.

On this month's Healthwise, panel of experts will discuss the role of mental health in North Carolina's overall health. They will talk about the state's efforts to reform the mental health system in North Carolina, teenage suicide, discrimination against people with mental illness, misconceptions of the mentally ill, and drugs created for mental health disorders.


Mike Moseley
Division Director
Division of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Disabilities
NC Department of Health and Human Services

John Owen
PAIMI Committee to Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities
Oversees interests for disabled protection and advocacy
PO Box 114
Saxapahaw, NC 27340

John Tote
Executive Director
Mental Health Association in NC
Email: jtote@mha-nc.org

Michael Watson
Directs an Eight-County Mental Health Center
Sandhills Mental Health
Email: MichaelW@sandhillscenter.org

Dr. Robert N. Golden
Professor and Chair of Psychiatry
Email: robert_golden@med.unc.edu

Sheila Singleton
NC Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance


State Plan 2005: Blueprint for Change
This edition provides for the people of North Carolina the continuing efforts to transform North Carolina's public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services (mh/dd/sas) system. The mission, vision, guiding principles, philosophy and primary goals as stated in the initial State Plan remain the same.

Healthwise: Domestic Violence

According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, battering is more than physical abuse-it is a pattern of domination enforced by violence. In such relationships, batterers try to control every piece of their victims' lives, from the friends they see to the clothes they wear. Since the beginning of 2005, 57 people in North Carolina have died as a result of domestic violence; 82 were killed last year.

North Carolina is trying hard to protect its citizens against domestic violence. This year the state appropriated more than $4.5 million through the Council for Women/Commission on Domestic Violence grants to all of the recognized domestic violence programs available in North Carolina's 100 counties. The Council provides oversight for the funds appropriated by the General Assembly for this service.

In August 2005, when the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1029 into law , North Carolina became the second state in the nation to enact comprehensive legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking against tenant discrimination. This bill protects victims from discrimination by landlords and provides a statutory framework for allowing victims to change locks or terminate their leases when necessary to escape from a perpetrator. This year the General Assembly also passed House Bill 569 from the House Select Committee on Domestic Violence to create a permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Domestic Violence that will examine domestic violence issues in order to make recommendations to the General Assembly on ways to reduce incidences of domestic violence and to provide additional assistance to victims.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, UNC-TV presents Healthwise: Domestic Violence. This program explores North Carolina's groundbreaking statewide efforts to reduce domestic violence and mitigate the effects domestic violence has on its victims. UNC-TV reporter Christine Rogers moderates a panel of domestic violence experts, including policy makers, activists, outreach professionals, law enforcement officers, and victims of domestic violence who discuss this behavior and answer viewer questions.


Lisa Angel
Attorney, Rosen Law Firm
Chair, North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission

Lisa M. Angel is a North Carolina Board Certified Family Law Specialist with Rosen Law Firm who has written and spoken extensively on family law issues. Ms. Angel is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education programs for attorneys, including as guest lecturer at Duke University School of Law and Campbell Law School. In 2005, she was appointed by Governor Easley to serve as chair for the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission.

Ms. Angel is past president of the Women's Center of Wake County Board of Directors and the current Co-Chair of Wake County Family Lawyers. She is a member of the Wake County Volunteer Lawyers Program Advisory Board and Co-Chair and founding board member of Project Together, a Wake County domestic violence pro bono project. She is the North Carolina Bar Association Liaison to North Carolina Medical Society Task Force on Domestic Violence, is a member of the UNC Hospitals Domestic Violence Intervention Advisory Board, and serves on Interact's Speakers' Bureau. In 2004, Ms. Angel was honored as one of Triangle Business Journal's Top 25 Women In Business In The Triangle. Ms. Angel received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. degree from Wake Forest University.

Tanisha Bagley
Survivor & Author, The Price of Love

Tanisha Bagley is an author, public speaker, entrepreneur and advocate for victims and survivors of domestic violence. She is also the founder of E.N.S.H.R.I.N.E. (Everyone Needs Support, Help Respect, Inspiration, Nourishment and Empowerment), a non-profit organization that provides safe housing, financial support, job training, mentoring and counseling for women and children who have been victimized by domestic abuse and violence.

Ms. Bagley's personal testimony (as a survivor of domestic violence) has inspired audiences across the country. Her real life story of tragedy and triumph is featured in a documentary entitled Something So Beautiful, which is available from Interact, a safety support and awareness agency for individuals impacted by domestic violence. Her first book, The Price of Love is a story of survival based on one young woman's real life experiences as a victim and survivor of domestic violence. Ms. Bagely is a mother of three and currently resides in Apex, NC. Her second book, Broken Pieces is scheduled for release December 2005.

Ivonne Ortiz
Immigration Outreach Specialist
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV)

Ivonne Ortiz served as the Director of the Domestic Violence Program for the Wesley Shelter, one of the largest women’s centers in North Carolina for a period of seven years. Under her leadership, services evolved from emergency response to comprehensive programming. Ms. Ortiz was the guiding force behind the Shelter’s implementation of the Hispanic Outreach Program, which increased awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault and homeless services offered to this population in Wilson County. She served as the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence Region IV Board representative for a period of two years, has facilitated statewide training programs, and has been providing technical support across the state regarding immigrant issues. In 2003 Ms. Ortiz was selected to represent the Latino community in Wilson’s successful quest for All-American City Status. Ms. Ortiz was appointed in 2004 as North Carolina’s Team Leader for the Southern Regional 7-State Summit in Miami, Florida. Legal Momentum, formerly known as The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrants, sponsored this event.

A native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Ms. Ortiz attended the University of Puerto Rico were she majored in Sociology with a minor in Communications. Ivonne was certified as a Victim’s Services Practitioner through NCVAN in 2001 and was a nominee for the Peace Award for the NCCADV in 2004. Recently Ivonne Ortiz joined the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence as their Immigrant Outreach Specialist. Through this position, NCCADV hopes to strengthen the voices of battered immigrants and organizations that serve this population.

William Polk
N.C. Attorney General's Office
Victims and Citizens Services Section

William Polk is the director of the Victims and Citizens Services Section of the Attorney General's Office. Victims and Citizens Services provides direct assistance to the people of North Carolina through a variety of innovative programs. The Section develops policy and legislation, provides crime prevention programs, connects citizen citizens with community resources, and works with other agencies to coordinate Department of Justice services for citizens. Victims and Citizens Services can provide assistance in the following areas: Child Victim, Assistance, Child Identification Kits, Domestic Violence, Hate Crimes, Victims Rights, among others.

Mr. Polk is a native of Harrisburg, N.C., and received a BA in Political Science/Criminal Justice Concentration from North Carolina State University in 1996, and his J.D. from N.C. Central University School of Law, in 1999. He is admitted to the N.C. Bar and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Polk's previous experiences include working for the Office of the Governor as a policy analyst. Currently, he is the chair of the Workplace Committee of the Council for Women/Domestic Violence Commission. He is the Attorney General's Designee to the Council for Women/Domestic Violence Commission. He has served on the N.C. Child-Well Being and Domestic Violence Task Force. He has been recognized for his legislative efforts, by being awarded the Legislative Advocacy award by the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Karen Parker Thompson
Director, Domestic Violence Service
United Family Services

Karen Parker Thompson, a resident of Charlotte, NC is the Director of Domestic Violence Services at United Family Services. Ms. Thompson's responsibilities include development, promotion and oversight of the shelter, court, hospital and jail-based programs that serve over 7,000 domestic violence survivors annually. She provides training and technical assistance to staff, other organizations and the public on domestic violence issues. Ms. Thompson also serves on a number of state and local committees and workgroups focusing on policy development and advocacy around domestic violence issues.

Ms. Thompson has worked in the domestic violence field over 15 years and prior to her current position, she served with a variety of nonprofit organizations and government agencies including the Texas Department of Human Services Family Violence Program, the Georgia Department of Human Resources Family Violence Program, the Council on Battered Women, the Davison School and Elon Homes for Children. Ms. Thompson graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a certificate in Women's Studies. She then completed her Masters degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration at Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Healthwise: Women's Health

According to an August 2005 report, 28% of North Carolina women get no regular exercise and one in four is considered obese by standard criteria. Sedentary lifestyle and obesity are taking their toll -- high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes are all on the rise. This study, the 2005 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card, prepared by the UNC Center for Women's Health Research, reveals poor marks in almost all aspects of women's health in the state.

Dr. Katherine Hartmann, the director of the center said, "This year's grades reveal both women and their care providers have work to do. We need to view how we live our lives - what we eat, whether we smoke, how we handle stress, how we treat our bodies - as an urgent health priority, and doctors need to reinforce that message."

Beyond lifestyle, preventive medical practices such as colorectal cancer screenings and mammograms also keep women healthier. According to the report card, "almost half of women who should have had colorectal cancer screenings have never been tested, and one in six women eligible for mammograms has not had one in the last two years."

Additionally, the report demonstrated overall that minority women are disproportionately affected by poor health. They experience higher rates of almost all conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer deaths. They also have greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases, higher infant mortality, and less prenatal care. More minority women lack health insurance, are unemployed, and live below the poverty level.

Despite the need for improvement in so many areas, the report card did have good news to share: the state received A's for declining teen pregnancy rates, dramatic reductions in the number of cases of syphilis and gonorrhea, and fewer deaths from cervical cancer.
The report card provides a clear picture of the state of women's health in North Carolina. On Healthwise: Women's Health, host Christine Rogers leads a panel of experts in women's health in a focus on the highlights of the study and discuss the areas where women's health needs improvement and how to accomplish it. Viewers can also call in and query panelists with their own concerns around women's health issues.

Panelists and Resources

Healthwise: State of Preventive Healthcare in North Carolina

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all deaths each year in the United States are attributed to poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and tobacco use. And in North Carolina, schools, workplaces and even the state are working to reduce these numbers by promoting preventive healthcare measures such as good eating habits, daily exercise, and avoiding tobacco.

These preventive measures -- programs that promote healthy living and can ultimately reduce the cost of healthcare -- have become an integral part of everyday life for some North Carolinians. Preventive healthcare, however, also includes cancer screenings and procedures that are costly and may not be covered by insurance or are unavailable to those without medical coverage. If preventive measures reduce the cost of healthcare, should insurance companies cover more? Should preventive healthcare be available to all North Carolinians, even those without insurance?

On Healthwise: the State of Preventive Healthcare in North Carolina, a panel of experts try to answer these questions and explain why preventive healthcare is important for all North Carolinians. The panel also discusses the current state of preventive healthcare in North Carolina, prevention programs across the state and the future of preventive healthcare. In addition, panelists answer viewer questions about prevention.


Bob Greczyn
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Bob Greczyn currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), the state's largest health insurer. Greczyn earned a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from East Carolina University. He also completed the executive program in health care finance management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his role at BCBSNC, Greczyn serves on both the Board of Trustees for BCBSNC and on the board of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. In addition, he is campaign chair of Be Active North Carolina, a grassroots physical fitness campaign designed to help North Carolinians live healthy and active lifestyles.

Greczyn also chairs the UNC School of Public Health's "Carolina First" Campaign Committee and has been named to the board of directors for North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI). The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Policy Research has named Greczyn a research fellow. He serves on the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Advisory Board, East Carolina University's Board and the board of the Triangle United Way. Greczyn is also a director of the N.C. Institute of Medicine and past chair of the March of Dimes' Walk America.

Dr. Leah Devlin
State Health Director
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Public Health
Dr. Leah Devlin received her dental degree and master's degree in public health administration at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. At UNC she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and the School of Public Health's honor society. Dr. Devlin began her professional career at the Wake County Department of Health as a dentist in 1979. In 1986 she became Director of the Wake County Department of Health serving for ten years. Dr. Devlin joined the NC Department of Health & Human Services in 1996, and after five years with the Division of Public Health, she began serving as State Health Director in 2001.

Meg Molloy, DrPH, MPH, RDMeg Molloy, DrPH, MPH, RD
Executive Director
North Carolina Prevention Partners
Molloy's career includes 20 years in prevention, health behavior change, and health policy with a focus on nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention and cessation. She has worked in multiple health sectors including nonprofit leadership, media, policy development, consulting business, state and local public health, and nutrition practice, teaching and research within the UNC School of Public Health, Duke University Medical Center and School of Medicine.

Meg Molloy earned DrPH in the Department of Health Policy and Administration with a minor in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a Public Health Leadership Fellow (1996). A decade earlier, she received an MPH in Nutrition from UNC-Chapel Hill (1985). Her bachelor's degree is in Biology from the University of Louisville (1983).

Robert S. (Bob) Parker
Vice President, Home and Community Health
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Member, Health and Wellness Trust Fund -Tobacco Related Healthcare Issues
Mr. Parker was appointed as Vice President for Home and Community Health in March of 1997. Prior to coming to North Carolina Baptist Hospital, he served as Public Health Director in the New Hanover County Health Department for 14 years. In New Hanover County, he helped organize the New Hanover Community Health Center, which is a primary health care center for the medically underserved area of Wilmington and the surrounding community.

Mr. Parker has served nationally on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association, the Board of Directors of the National Association for Home Care, and the Board of Directors of the National Association for County and City Health Officials. He has been president of the North Carolina Public Health Association, the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, and the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina. Currently, Mr. Parker is a member of the NC Public Health Study Commission, the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission, the American Hospital Association's (AHA) member on the JCAHO Home Care Professional & Technical Advisory Committee, the AHA Section on Long-term Care & Rehabilitation, and chair of the Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition.

Melicia C. Whitt-Glover, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Public Health Sciences/Epidemiology
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Small Steps program
Dr. Whitt-Glover is an Assistant Professor in the Section on Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She holds degrees in Exercise Physiology (B.A., M.A.) and Epidemiology (Ph.D.) from the Universities of North and South Carolina, respectively. Dr. Whitt-Glover’s research interests include physical activity assessment and lifestyle behavioral interventions related to increasing physical activity levels among African Americans. She currently serves as either the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for several research studies designed to identify effective strategies to increase weight loss and weight gain prevention among African Americans, and to promote adherence to national recommendations for nutrition and physical activity. Dr. Whitt-Glover is currently conducting a church-based intervention to promote physical activity among sedentary African Americans in Winston Salem, NC. Dr. Whitt-Glover is also actively involved in several initiatives to promote physical activity among African Americans, most notably serving as the Co-Chair for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National African American Physical Activity (NAAPA) Task Force and Co-Convener of the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN).

Healthwise: Access to Health Care in North Carolina

North Carolinians are losing their access to healthcare. This growing population of people cannot afford health insurance, have lost their jobs or have lost publicly funded medical benefits. Meanwhile, state reports point to a lack of sufficient medical care in the North Carolina's rural communities. As North Carolina has been losing a large number of manufacturing, textile and technical jobs over the past several years, thousands of those now unemployed have lost their health insurance too. According to the State Center for Health Statistics, more than one million North Carolinians or 19% of the state's population did not have health insurance coverage in 2002. Will this problem get worse before it gets better? What are lawmakers and consumer advocates doing now to increase access to healthcare in the future?

On this edition of Healthwise, a panel of experts try to answer these questions, explain why access to healthcare problems exist and examine North Carolina's safety net of services implemented to handle the current healthcare crisis. These programs include free clinics, rural health centers, volunteer physician care projects (Project Access programs), public health departments and even hospital emergency rooms. The panel also discusses possible solutions to our state's healthcare crisis.

Healthwise: Healthcare Policy in NC and the US

North Carolina is rich in healthcare – the state is a mecca for medical training, the headquarters of pharmaceutical development and a hub for leaders and consumer advocates who care about health. Lawmakers in Raleigh and the nation's capitol are making decisions now that will impact health policy in the years to come. In our state's capitol, our legislators are currently wrestling with bills that, if passed, could change state policies regarding Medicaid eligibility, prescription drug coverage and funding.

Medicaid is one of the top issues in the state legislature's budget this year. Dr. William Atkinson, President and CEO of WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Representative Paul Stam, who represents Wake County, and Senator William Purcell, who also happens to be a retired physician, discuss the Medicaid program and answer viewer questions about its potential changes.

Experts discuss the Medicaid issues that affect everyone in this state and answer some of the most critical questions about how today's Medicaid policy is being shaped to respond to America's future needs. Plus, viewers have the chance to call in and ask the experts questions about North Carolina's policies.

Issues discussed include the definition of Medicaid, who is eligible and the differences between Medicaid ad Medicare; some of the potential changes in Medicaid policy in North Carolina as a result of the state budget process; and how hospitals handle Medicaid patients versus the uninsured and those with private health insurance.


Dr. William Atkinson
President & CEO
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Bill Atkinson is not only leading a 700+ bed hospital, he is looking for more efficient ways of administering healthcare. As a practicing Emergency Medical Technician, he's also very much concerned with emergency room care. He was the chairman of NC Hospital Association last year.

Senator William R. Purcell, MDSenator William R. Purcell, MD
Senator William Purcell is four-term state Democrat representing the 25th District (Anson, Richmond, Scotland, and Stanly counties) and a retired pediatrician. He has carried his interest in healthcare to his position in the Legislature. He is co-chairman of the Appropriations on Health and Human Services Committee and co-chairman of the Health Care Committee. This session, he has sponsored several Medicaid-related bills, including the Medicaid phase-out bill for county expenditures on Medicaid, a Medicaid case management bill for prescription drugs, and a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to children age birth through five years with family incomes equal to or less than two hundred percent of the federal poverty level using NC Health Choice and federal fund to finance the expansion.

Dr. George L. Saunders, III, M.D.
President, Old North State Medical Society
Dr. Saunders practices family medicine and geriatrics Down East. He is president of the Old North State Medical Society (ONSMS), the nation's oldest association of Black Physicians. The Society was founded in 1886 and has from that date until the present directed its energies to the objectives of equity in healthcare, equal opportunity for black health professionals and equal care for black, other ethnic minorities, and very poor patients.

Adam Searing, JD, MPHAdam Searing, JD, MPH
Project Director
NC Health Access Coalition
Adam Searing joined the North Carolina Justice Center as Director of the North Carolina Health Access Coalition in 1997. The Health Access Coalition is North Carolina's leading voice for progressive health care reforms that address the needs of the uninsured and underinsured. The project advocates both for more comprehensive and effective public health care programs and on behalf of average consumers in the private market. During his tenure, Searing has: led the fight to defeat of a proposed conversion of Blue Cross/Blue Shield NC to a for-profit, won and helped implement expansions of the state Medicaid program, helped win passage of the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (Health Choice), and fought for consumer rights for North Carolinians in HMOs.

Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake)Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake)
Representative Paul Stam, an attorney, has represented Wake County for three terms. He is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and serves on the Judiciary, Commerce and Federal Relations and Trade Issues Committees as well.

Healthwise: Childhood Overweight

North Carolina's kids are losing the battle with the bulge.

The Center for Disease Control reports that 27% of high school age students in North Carolina are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. Additionally, the North Carolina Nutrition and Physical Activity Surveillance System (NC-NPASS 2003) states that 23% of children ages 5 to 11 are overweight and that the prevalence of obesity in North Carolina's children increased by 40% in 5 to 11 year olds between 1995 and 2000.

The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, chaired by Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue has recently addressed this issue by evaluating the status of obesity among the state's children. After meeting for one year to study the problem in North Carolina, a committee of health care experts, advocates, educators, researchers and business leaders from across the state appointed by the Fund recommended several policy changes for physical activity and nutrition standards in North Carolina schools to address the epidemic.

In Healthwise: Childhood Overweight, the expert panelists on Healthwise will discuss not only the policy proposals but also explore the origins of childhood overweight and obesity; look at prevention programs and efforts being made on the state and local levels; and take questions about childhood overweight from our viewing audience.


Nicole L. Beckwith, R.H.Ed., Grant Program Manager, Children, Youth and Community Obesity Grant
NCDHHS-Division of Public Health
North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund

Beckwith oversees the three-year Children, Youth and Community Obesity Grant funded by BCBSNC and HWTF. The mission of the grant is to prevent and help African American, Hispanic and American Indian youth ages 5-11 with the problem of obesity.

Jorge Figueroa, PhD, Deputy Director
Wilmington Health Access for Teens (WHAT)

Dr. Figueroa's work focuses on campaign to create community awareness in New Hanover County. His organization is working with a number of local partners to implement the state's recommendations for physical activity and nutrition. He is drawing heavily on a model called Question Why, which was used for tobacco. He is trying to create a Gold Standard in schools for nutrition.

Lynn Hoggard, Section Chief, Child Nutrition Services
Department of Public Instruction
Eat Smart, Move More...North Carolina

Lynn leads the state's Child Nutrition Team, which includes administration and oversight of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, After Snack Program, Seamless Summer Feeding Program and Special Milk Program. She serves as the state's liaison between the DPI and the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service.

Dr. Olson Huff, Commissioner
North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund
Located in Asheville, Dr. Huff is a retired pediatrician who practiced in Asheville for 35 years. He believes childhood overweight and obesity is a significant health problem in North Carolina and the consequences of that problem are enormous.

Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director
Be Active North Carolina

Shellie Pfohl helped found BANC in 2000. She has helped start Be Active New York and Be Active Minnesota and is currently developing Be Active America. BANC has put together a comprehensive strategy, aimed at encouraging and coordinating grassroots fitness programs focused on policy and environmental changes, public awareness, collaboration and volunteerism. The program's mission is to increase physical activity levels and healthy lifestyles among all North Carolinians through people, programs, and policies.