Wisconsin takes 2009 national LifeSmarts title – National Consumers League

April 29, 2009

Winners take home fabulous prizes, will be honored in local parade

Contact: 202-835-3323, media@nclnet.org

Washington, DC—The student team from Wisconsin’s Oconto High School was crowned national LifeSmarts champions in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday. In a tough final match against the second-place team from Washington State’s Kittitas High School, the Wisconsin teens outscored their opponents and did it with great sportsmanship. Teams from New Hampshire and Oklahoma placed third.

“We are so proud of these students from Wisconsin, who represented their state program with class and pride,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They played hard and demonstrated their consumer smarts throughout the four-day event. They are true LifeSmarts champions.”

LifeSmarts is a program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocate. It competitively tests high school students’ knowledge of consumer awareness, with subjects including personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibility, technology, and the environment.

“NCL’s LifeSmarts program is allowing us to rear a generation of consumer-savvy teenagers who often outsmart their parents on issues related to avoiding fraud, credit and debt, and complicated health care decisions,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. In the 15 years that LifeSmarts has been educating high school and middle school teens on consumer issues, it has grown dramatically. The program’s latest partnership will bring the program to Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America youth and advisers.

Thirty state LifeSmarts champions gathered in St. Louis, where the best of more than 22,000 teens who competed in the 2008-2009 LifeSmarts program nationwide vied for a chance at the 2009 national title. Across the country, players answered more than 3 million consumer questions at www.lifesmarts.org in the online competition during the 2008-2009 academic year.

At the awards ceremony, Wisconsin’s coach Tammie McCarthy thanked NCL, praised her team’s hard-work, honored her team members, and described how good it felt to finally hold the championship trophy in her hands. McCarthy is a veteran LifeSmarts coach who has represented Wisconsin with Oconto High School teams four times. The students will be honored with a pep assembly upon their return, “Congratulations” signs around town, and an appearance in Oconto’s summer parade.

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to www.lifesmarts.org.

All winners at the national LifeSmarts Competition received valuable prizes donated by sponsors to the National Consumers League, including scholarships, savings bonds, gift cards, and more. To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at 202-835-3323. For a complete listing of this year’s prizes, visit www.lifesmarts.org.


About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at 202-835-3323. The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

LifeSmarts Nationals in The Lou – National Consumers League

The Savvy Consumer blog will be taking a break for the next few days to staff the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship. We know you’ll miss us terribly, so come visit us at our official nationals blog! We’ll be posting competition updates, team photos, and stories from the national competition — and the 30 state champion teams who will start arriving in St. Louis tomorrow.

See you back at the Savvy Consumer blog next week!

Consumer, nutrition groups urge Obama, Congress to update alcohol policies for the 21st Century – National Consumers League

April 23, 2009

Organizations issue four-step plan calling for mandatory alcohol labeling and more resources to combat underage drinking

Contact: 202-835-3323, media@nclnet.org

Washington, DC — A coalition of public interest groups today called on Congress and the Obama Administration to overturn decades of inattention to the nation’s alcohol policies by finally issuing a useful final regulation to require standardized labeling information on beer, wine and distilled spirits products and providing the government resources needed to address such pressing problems as underage drinking, binge drinking, and drunk driving.

Using the observance of National Alcohol Awareness Month to rally attention, four leading nutrition and consumer advocacy organizations — Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, and Shape Up America! — released a new action plan, Alcohol Policy for the 21st Century: A Platform to Give Americans the Facts to Drink Responsibly, intended to bring the nation’s policies into the 21st century. Issued as a nationwide call to action, the platform urges the new Administration and Congress to make meaningful changes both in how information about the content of alcoholic beverages is communicated to the public and how the nation mobilizes to reduce underage drinking.

Specifically, the platform urges swift action on four regulatory and legislative measures:

  1. Gaining swift action by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to issue a final regulation that requires complete and easy-to-read labeling information on all beer, wine and distilled spirits products. To provide the information needed for consumers to make informed purchasing and consumption decisions, the advocates continue to press for a standardized “Alcohol Facts” panel that lists the alcohol content, the amount of alcohol per serving, the definition of a standard drink, the number of calories and facts about other ingredients.
  1. Enlisting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make increased access to alcohol content information a new national health objective when HHS issues Healthy People 2020, the updated ten-year health goals, in early 2010.
  1. Including detailed advice on responsible alcohol consumption levels for the public when HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) release the revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010, with a specific focus on what constitutes a “standard drink” and the calorie content of “non-standard” mixed alcoholic drinks now gaining in popularity.
  1. Gaining Congressional passage of the “Support 21 Act of 2009,” which will expand the nation’s underage drinking prevention efforts by allocating an additional $35.5 million to federal and state programs.

Among these actions, the top priority for the public health community is for TTB to move quickly to issue a consumer friendly final alcohol labeling regulation. This step would end the stalemate in modernizing beverage alcohol labels that traces back to 1972, when consumer organizations first asked the federal government to require meaningful alcohol labeling. In 2003, the National Consumers League, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America and 75 other public health and consumer organizations submitted a formal petition to TTB resulting in the agency issuing an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” in April 2005. Then, in 2007, TTB proposed a mandatory “Serving Facts” panel on beer, wine and distilled spirits that left out alcohol content and the amount of alcohol in a serving and was widely attacked by consumer groups and the public health community for being incomplete.

“There is no debate within the public health and consumer community about the need for mandatory and complete alcohol labeling,” said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America. “It’s time to give consumers the same helpful and easily accessible labeling information that is now required for conventional foods, dietary supplements, and nonprescription drugs.”

Although TTB’s 2007 actions were roundly criticized, the advocacy groups believe the record in the current rulemaking is sufficient for the agency to act now to issue a final alcohol labeling regulation in 2009. The advocates also urge TTB to consult with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the most effective format and graphic design for the “Alcohol Facts” label.

George Hacker, Director of CSPI’s Alcohol Policies Project, said: “TTB has had a comprehensive response to its haphazard rulemaking to develop labels that will be helpful to consumers in measuring and moderating their alcohol consumption. The agency should accept the guidance it has received and find the political will to act.”

From a public health perspective, the advocacy organizations also urge HHS and USDA to provide detailed information on what constitutes a “standard drink” and the calorie content of popular “non-standard” mixed alcoholic drinks when the departments issue the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010. The reason, according to the advocates, is insufficient information in the marketplace for consumers to know what constitutes a “standard drink” — 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof (40%) distilled spirits — and to understand that standard serving sizes of beer, wine and spirits are equal in alcohol strength and their effect on the body. As a result, research finds nearly 20 percent of current drinkers regularly consume more than the up to two standard drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women that the Dietary Guidelines defines a moderate drinking.

“Those consumers who choose to drink absolutely need alcohol and calorie information per serving to help them comply with recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League. “Without it, alcohol consumers continue to be left in the dark.”

The alcohol platform encourages HHS to add specific objectives to the upcoming Healthy People 2020 national health goals that reflect the current scientific knowledge about the calorie content of alcoholic beverages. Because alcohol is metabolized quite differently from these other macronutrients and provides 7 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates, increased access to alcohol content information through nutrition counseling and government education initiatives is needed both to combat the obesity epidemic and to reduce alcohol-related mortality resulting from hypertension, liver disease and certain cancers, as well as injury.

“To encourage weight management and reduce the health risks associated with alcohol requires that the 55 percent of adult Americans who drink have the information they need to make responsible decisions,” said Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D., president of Shape Up America!, “Anything less is a setback for public health.”

Addressing the pervasive problem of underage drinking, the platform calls on Congress to pass H.R. 1028 — the “Support 21 Act of 2009” — which allocates an additional $35.5 million to federal and state efforts to reduce underage drinking. Recognizing that lowering the drinking age is not the answer, the bill focuses on delaying alcohol use through education and a stronger focus within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on disseminating research on effective strategies to reduce underage drinking. The bill also calls for a National Academies of Science report on available research regarding the impact of alcohol on adolescent brain development and the public policy implications of that research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinkers are responsible for 11 percent of all the beverage alcohol consumed in the U.S. and on average, consume more drinks per occasion than adults. Moreover, new research on brain development shows that adolescent brains are not fully developed before age 21, and alcohol abuse damages this development process.


About the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science. Founded by executive director Michael Jacobson, Ph.D. and two other scientists, CSPI has long sought to educate the public, advocate government policies that are consistent with scientific evidence on health and environmental issues, and counter industry’s powerful influence on public opinion and public policies.

About the Consumer Federation of America

Consumer Federation of America is a non-profit association of some 300 organizations, with a combined membership of over 50 million Americans. Since its founding in 1968, CFA has worked to advance the interest of American consumers through research, education and advocacy. CFA’s Food Policy Institute was created in 1999 and engages in research, education and advocacy on food and agricultural policy, agricultural biotechnology, food safety and nutrition.

About the National Consumers League

Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

About Shape Up America!

Shape Up America! was founded in 1994 by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to raise awareness of the health effects of obesity and to provide responsible information on weight management to the public and to health care professionals. The organization maintains an award winning website – www.shapeup.org – accessed by more than 100,000 visitors each month and an “opt-in” e-newsletter with more than 24,000 subscribers.

Happy Financial Literacy Month! – National Consumers League

In this economy, every month should be financial literacy month, and in our LifeSmarts program, it sort of is!.  (Especially now that our program offers year-round curriculum through our Spring Training program. But we digress.)

LifeSmarts participants have a leg up when it comes to being smart about knowing what’s you’re getting into before signing on the dotted lines. They’ve learned about how to properly handle credit and debit cards, manage a budget, and make smart shopping decisions.

It might seem difficult to apply this knowledge without the proper organizational tools.You may think that you don’t have time to review your credit card spending and see what expenses are really making a dent in your savings. You may know that your bank charges fees for your account, but not have the energy to review every statement to make sure additional fees aren’t charged.

Wish there was a Web site where you could easily view your bank account activity; keep track of how you spend your money; and get advice on how to save money based on your current spending habits? Mint.com is a personal finance and budgeting Web site that offers exactly these services for free. This service is especially great for students who will be leaving home soon and will have new budgeting responsibilities.

Teen financial literacy program receives grant from Experian – National Consumers League

April 22, 2009

2009 state champion LifeSmarts teams en route to St. Louis for annual LifeSmarts championship, April 25-28

Contact: 202-835-3323, media@nclnet.org

Washington, D.C. — The National Consumers League (NCL) has received a $146,000 grant from Experian®, the global information services company, to help underwrite LifeSmarts (www.lifesmarts.org), NCL’s 15-year-old program that educates teens and tweens on real-world financial and consumer literacy issues.

“We are grateful for Experian’s support as we help to prepare a new generation of consumers for the challenges of the marketplace,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “LifeSmarts is a fun, fast, and educational program, and a great vehicle for educating young consumers.”

LifeSmarts is a competitive educational program, in which teams of students begin online. Top-scorers progress to state competitions, and state champion teams meet each April to compete in the National LifeSmarts Championship. This year’s national event will be hosted by NCL, the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization, in St. Louis, MO.

The Experian grant will allow NCL’s LifeSmarts program to forge a new partnership with Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) to bring LifeSmarts to its 220,000 student members nationwide. Also, for the first time this year, NCL will award each of the five students from the 2009 National LifeSmarts champion team—to be determined in St. Louis—a $1,000 academic scholarship, thanks to the grant from Experian.

“Experian is proud to support LifeSmarts and to help NCL expand the program through partnership with FCCLA,” said Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education for Experian. “LifeSmarts competitors will soon be heading off to college or into the workplace where they will be faced with critical financial decisions that can affect the rest of their lives. The LifeSmarts program sets them on the path to a lifetime of success by equipping them with the financial knowledge and consumer skills they need to make informed, responsible choices.”

2009 National LifeSmarts Championship Headed to St. Louis

Consumer savvy teens representing 30 states will compete at the national event. Throughout the 2008-2009 program year, more than 22,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at Nationals. Players answered more than 3 million consumer questions in the online competition.


April 25-28, 2009

Millennium Hotel, St. Louis, 200 S. 4th Street, St. Louis, MO. 63102-1804
Final match: Tuesday, April 28, 10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Central
Awards Ceremony: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Central


Parents and teachers can follow the action at the official 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship blog (www.lifesmartsnationals.blogspot.com).

The semi-final and final competition matches will be streamed live at www.nextgenweb.org. Visit NextGenWeb for information, vidcasts, podcasts, webinars, and a blog that focus on how broadband technology can benefit the U.S. economy, consumers, health care, education, and the environment.


About LifeSmarts and the National Consumers League

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at 202-835-3323. The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

Consumers: CD Freedoms Should Extend to DVDs – National Consumers League

By Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, National Consumers League

With frightening financial headlines greeting us every morning and tucking us into bed at night, many of us consumers have started taking a long, hard look at the entertainment “extras” in our budget that are often so difficult to sacrifice.

Amidst the backdrop of this troubled economy, the National Consumers League recently commissioned a survey of Americans’ entertainment habits and interests, specifically those related to their use of DVDs. In this environment, when consumer satisfaction should be more important than ever to the businesses that rely on their patronage, we wanted to find out what consumers want when it comes to how they can use their DVDs.

For years, consumers have been able to freely copy and back up the content on their compact disc collections to their hard drives and other devices. This freedom didn’t come without struggle – remember the last decade of lawsuits and consumer fear involving the sharing and copying of music files? But, in the end, consumers’ interests won out, and the freedom and mobility that consumers enjoy today with their digital music files has changed the way we travel, relax, entertain, and express ourselves.

Given the growing affordability of hard drives with the capacity to store more music and movie files than ever before, we wanted to examine whether consumers’ expectations from the CD market are translating to the consumer DVD market. We can copy our CDs; how far off are DVDs?

Consumers are currently limited by digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on most DVDs. Without illiegal ripping software, we can’t currently save the contents of most DVDs to our computers, whether for backup purposes or simply to access our DVD libraries without carrying around the actual discs (the mean number of DVDs in consumers’ collections was 77.8 discs). Some “expanded” editions of DVDs come with the ability to save an additional copy to a computer, but these editions generally come with a higher price tag.

We commissioned the study to examine consumers’ opinions related to the entertainment content stored in their DVD collections, and what we found was that consumers overwhelmingly want to do more with the DVDs they purchase. Consumers nearly unanimously think they should be able to back-up their DVDs onto computers or other devices in order to preserve their collections. Many of them, especially those with kids at home, have had to replace lost or damaged DVDs, and more than half of respondents were “bothered” that they don’t currently have the ability to back-up their DVDs.

And in an economy that is already struggling, the habits of many consumers in our survey may indicate a market slow-down ahead: more than half of respondents (55 percent) said that they are currently purchasing fewer DVDs than they did a year ago. And four in ten (41 percent) said they expect to purchase fewer DVDs one year from now.

If our entertainment budgets are shrinking, it’s more important than ever to get value from the DVDs we already own. The entertainment industry would be wise to pay attention to the attitudes and purchasing desires of the typical American consumer, who, according to our survey, is very interested in being able to back-up his or her collection. In our survey, 41 percent said the ability to save a copy of their DVDs would make their DVD collections more valuable, and 40 percent said it might cause them to buy more DVDs.

Consumers have grown accustomed to being able to do what they want, when they want, with the music products they’ve purchased, and now they’re expecting to have the same freedom with the DVDs they own. With more consumers turning to free Internet sources of entertainment, the DVD market may be in for tough times ahead. In an economy like ours, what better time than now to help consumers get more bang for their buck from products and services that may otherwise be the first to go when they are forced to tighten their belts.

Sally Greenberg is executive director of the National Consumers League, a nonprofit consumer and worker advocacy group headquartered in Washington, DC. She can be reached at sallyg@nclnet.org.

LifeSmarts = Real Life 101 – National Consumers League

Since we’re counting the days until the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship kicks off in St. Louis, we thought this would be a great time to focus on the types of topics covered by NCL’s LifeSmarts program — and the types of pro-consumer tools it arms its participants and alumni with.

Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Country of Origin Labeling

A few weeks ago, the new COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) requirements went into effect. This means most fresh meat products and some types of chicken will require a label that tells you what country the product is from. Learn more about this important change at the official COOL Web site.

Personal Finance: New Student Loan Proposal

The new COOL requirements are not the only recent government measure that may impact your life as a consumer. A recent proposal by the Obama administration may impact one of the most important consumer decisions of all – your education. Find out about the New Student Loan Proposal and what it could mean for your future education financing plans.

Consumer, public interest leaders to wireless industry: Forgive early termination fees for unemployed subscribers – National Consumers League

April 21, 2009

Wireless industry leaders urged to help consumers facing economic crisis by eliminating pricey contract cancellation fees

Contact: 202-835-3323, media@nclnet.org

Washington, DC, April 21, 2009 — Leaders of the nation’s consumer and public interest organizations today called on the heads of the wireless industry to immediately suspend charging early termination fees (ETF’s) on any subscriber who lose their jobs. Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the jobless rate nationally is at 8.5 percent, and most economists expect that number to rise above 10 percent in the coming months. Millions more are facing involuntary furloughs and underemployment or have ceased looking for work altogether. With this in mind, consumer and public interest leaders, in a letter to the wireless industry, are urging the wireless industry to take the pro-consumer step of allowing subscribers who have become unemployed to cancel their service contracts without incurring penalties that could add to their financial burdens.

The letter was signed by Consumer Action, the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Media Access Project and the National Consumers League.

“As the unemployment rate approaches ten percent, millions of consumers need to find ways to save money due to job loss or having their working hours reduced,” said Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League Executive Director. “For many of these consumers, a big expense is wireless phone service. Unfortunately they are often locked in to expensive services that they can’t afford to keep, but also can’t afford to cancel due to hefty early termination fees. The wireless industry can help such consumers by allowing them to cancel their contracts without incurring the financial burden of ETF’s.”

ETF’s vary by carrier but can cost consumers upwards of $150 per line of service. For consumers on multiple-line “family” plans, being unable to pay for a service plan can threaten them with ETF’s of several hundred dollars or more. The consumer and public interest leaders noted that wireless devices can be essential links for unemployed and underemployed to their support networks and prospective employers. As such, they further urged the wireless industry leaders to allow subscribers who request it to migrate from unaffordable service plans to plans with lower monthly service fees or prepaid plans, again without incurring ETF’s.

“With this small change in policies, wireless phone carriers could offer big help to struggling households reeling from job losses,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities, Consumer Action. ”It is also a positive public relations move that will build customer loyalty in the long run. It is surprising the companies didn’t think of it first.”

“Cell phones can play a vital role in people’s lives, but consumers who are in perilous financial situations should not be penalized for their efforts to trim their expenses and get their household budgets in line,” said Charles Shafer, president of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. “We urge the wireless industry to waive the ETF’s for those who have lost their jobs.”


About the National Consumers League

Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action (www.consumer-action.org) is a national non-profit organization founded in San Francisco in 1971. During its more than three decades, Consumer Action has served consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies through its free hotline, publishing educational materials in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages, advocating for consumers in the media and before lawmakers, and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts, telephone plans and other consumer goods and services.

About the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition

Founded in 2000, MCRC is a non-profit organization focused on fairness and safety in the marketplace. MCRC seeks to advance and protect the interests of Maryland consumers through research, education and advocacy. Our members include individuals and organizations that support the interests of consumers. www.mdconsumers.org

About Media Access Project

Media Access Project (MAP) is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the public’s First Amendment right to access a diverse marketplace of ideas in the electronic mass media of today and tomorrow. For over 35 years, MAP has promoted the public interest before the FCC and the Courts, advocating for an open and diverse media that protects the free flow of information, promotes universal and equitable access, and encourages vibrant public discourse on critical issues facing our society. For more information please visit our website at www.mediaaccess.org.

We <3 You, Earth! - National Consumers League

With Earth Week upon us and the official celebration of Earth Day just around the corner, many consumers are taking time to participate in observances and practices that remind us of the importance of treating our planet right.

Want a resource that summarizes the concepts and terms you need to know to understand climate change? Confused by the conflicting information you hear about our impact on climate, and climate’s impact on us? Recently, several scientific organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies have introduced a new Climate Change Literacy Brochure for the public that is easy to use and reflects the current consensus of these organizations on climate change issues.

This is a good resource that many of the 2009 LifeSmarts state champion teams across the country may be using this week to prepare for the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship! The Environment is one of 5 major topic areas that the LifeSmarts program covers, and if we know our LifeSmarts participants, we know they are probably trying to squeeze as many last-minute hours of studying as possible before they face off in competition. We’re getting ready to head to St. Louis this week for our annual national event. Later this week, check back here and at our official LifeSmarts Web site to see how the competition unfolds!

Health Reform … What’s in Store? – National Consumers League

by Mimi Johnson, Health Policy Associate

As Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ confirmation hearings continue, there is increased buzz around town about what’s in store for health reform.


We could not be more excited that prevention is one of the key areas of concern for lawmakers. In fact, contact your Senators and Representative and let them know that you support prevention and that it should be included in health reform. At a recent meeting, a Hill insider mentioned that there are still a lot of politicians out there who don’t value putting resources towards prevention. We do. It’s really important that the government focus on prevention because it will require changes in infrastructure – making it safer to go for a walk through town; easier to access healthy, fresh foods; and have more quality face time with our health care practitioners.

Secondary and Tertiary Prevention?

One of the more exciting prospects of health reform is the idea of including secondary and tertiary prevention. This means that the government – from Congress and federal agencies down to the local community health system – will work to ensure that we can better manage our health, including any chronic conditions we might have. Secondary prevention focuses on detecting a disease in its earliest state, while tertiary prevention aims to manage chronic conditions or illnesses to improve a patient’s quality of life. If we can promote prevention – in all forms, we can help save more lives and money. Secondary and tertiary prevention can help patients to better understand and utilize the health care system in addition to helping them take medication safely and appropriately.*

With a new leader at HHS, and a country ready for more than just another Band-Aid fix, the time is now for health reform. We are hopeful that this comprehensive reform will help us change the way we think about our health.

*Stay tuned – we’ll soon have more information about our developing medication adherence campaign, which is a prime example of secondary prevention.