City of Lincoln
Citizen Information Center Division
CITY OF LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- December 21, 2000
- For More Information Contact:
- Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Steve Beal, Health Department, 441-8042
Mayor Announces "Healthy Kids 2010" Initiative
Conference on children’s health set for January
Mayor Don Wesely announced today that he is launching a children’s health initiative,
"Healthy Kids 2010," with the first ever Mayor’s Conference on Children’s Health. The
conference, set for January 10, 2001, will focus on children’s environmental health and
access to health care.
"This conference is the first major step forward in Healthy Kids 2010, a multifaceted
initiative, which will bring attention to a broad range of children’s health issues,"
Mayor Wesely said. The conference is being supported by the Lincoln-Lancaster County
Health Department (LLCHD), the Lancaster County Medical Society, the Nebraska Health and
Human Services System, the Nebraska Health Care Connection and the National Center for
Environmental Health, which is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
"The conference is just the beginning of Healthy Kids 2010," Wesely said. "Over the next
year, special efforts will be made to increase the visibility of the many issues impacting
our children’s health."
Existing programs in our community will be highlighted as part of the initiative. Those
include the Community Asthma Education Initiative and use of the Mobile Health Force clinic
as an outreach tool for dental screening and treatment for school children. Healthy Kids
2010 will also spotlight new initiatives, such as the recently funded Nurturing Parents
program, which focuses on improving the health of high-risk infants, and the Children’s
Environmental Health Protection Initiative, a community and medical education program that
will begin in conjunction with the conference.
"Children are at greater risk than adults from similar environmental exposures," said
Leon F. Vinci, MPH, Health Director for LLCHD. "This is due to many factors, such as their
bodies’ inability to break down certain toxins. They also consume more food, water and air
per body mass than adults and thus have higher doses of toxins." Many recent actions by
EPA have highlighted this fact, such as the recently announced ban on two commonly used
pesticides, Dursban and Diazanon. These products were specifically pulled from the market
due to the risks they pose to children.
Keynote speakers at the conference will include:
- Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health.
His topic will be "Is our environment making our children sick?" Jackson is one of the
nation’s foremost authorities on the health consequences for children caused by
environmental exposures. Local panelists will discuss asthma, health disparities among
minority children, groundwater contamination and risks posed by chemicals used by business
- Magda Peck, SCD, Professor and Associate Chair for Community Health, University of
Nebraska Medical Center, and Director of City MATCH. She will speak on the issue of
children’s access to health care and the complex socioeconomic and cultural issues which
create barriers to accessing health care for children and families.
- Adi Pour, PhD, State Toxicologist, Nebraska Health and Human Services System. She
will speak on creating healthy environments in our homes, schools and child care settings. Local panelists will address the prevention of poor indoor air quality in schools, lead poisoning and exposures to environmental tobacco smoke. Special emphasis will be given to simple actions each of us can take to create “healthy homes for healthy children.”
Other panelists include:
Information on conference registration is available from the Lincoln-Lancaster County
Health Department at 441-8045.
- Dr. Stacey Bleicher, pediatrician
- Dr. Stephen Russell, pediatrician
- Dr. Dale Michels, family practice physician
- Dr. James Ganser, dentist
- Janet Coleman, Community Health Endowment
- Pat Lopez, RN, LLCHD
- Shirley Niemeyer, PhD, UNL Extension
- Randy Ross, Director of the Lincoln Indian Center, member of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health
- Susan Seacrest, Groundwater Foundation
- John Steinauer, LLCHD
- Cindy Wostrel, Tobacco Free Lincoln Coalition and Health Education, Inc.
Citizen's Information Center