California Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention Program
Plenary Speaker Handouts
Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Texas. Prior to joining BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Dr. Sanchez served as the Director of the Institute for Health Policy and Professor in the Division of Management, Policy and Community Health at The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH). He held the title of Texas Commissioner of Health from 2001 to 2006 as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Health (TDH) from 2001 to 2004 and as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) from 2004 to 2006. He led the consolidation of Texas’ public health, mental, health and substance abuse agencies into one single agency, DSHS, and in 2005, Dr. Sanchez directed the Texas health and medical response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) Board of Scientific Counselors during his state health officer tenure. From 1992 to 2001, Dr. Sanchez practiced family medicine in Austin, Texas. In addition, he served as public health officer and chief medical officer for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department from 1994 to 1998. He played a key leadership role in helping to create the Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO) in 1997, and he served as TALHO’s first President. Dr. Sanchez is currently serving as Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chair of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP), and a Food & Society Policy Fellow. In addition, he is serving as co-chair of the National Governors' Association Childhood Obesity Advisory Council and as a member of the IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity. He received his Medical degree in 1988 from The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical School and completed a family medicine residency at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. He holds Masters degrees in Public Health from the UT School of Public Health and in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.
Sandra Tsing Loh
Sandra Tsing Loh is a writer/performer whose previous books include A Year in Van Nuys; Depth Takes a Holiday; If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now; and Aliens in America. Her new book, MOTHER ON FIRE: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting! was published by Crown Publishers in August 2008. Her off-Broadway solo shows include “Aliens in America” and “Bad Sex With Bud Kemp”; the original solo stage version of “Mother on Fire” ran for seven months in Los Angeles. She has been a regular commentator on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” on PRI’s “Marketplace,” and on Ira Glass’ “This American Life.” Currently, her weekly radio commentary series “The Loh Life” runs on KPCC (89.3 FM) in Los Angeles, as does her daily “Loh Down on Science” (syndicated). Her awards include a Pushcart Prize in fiction and two National Magazine Award nominations for her work as a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
Joseph Thompson’s, MD, MPH, work is centered at the intersection of clinical care, public health and health policy. He is responsible for developing health policy, research activities and collaborative programs that promote better health and health care in Arkansas. Dr. Thompson works closely with the Governor’s office, the Arkansas legislature and public and private organizations across the state on relevant health policy topics. Nationally, as Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, he is leading a strategic partnership with PolicyLink that serves as the linchpin of RWJF’s strategy to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by 2015. Dr. Thompson has led vanguard efforts in planning and implementing health care financing reform, tobacco and obesity-related health promotion and disease prevention programs. He was the lead architect of the Tobacco Settlement Act of 2000, at the forefront of Arkansas’s nation-leading efforts against childhood obesity and instituted the Arkansas Health Insurance Roundtable. Under his leadership, ACHI helped pass the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, documented the state’s success in halting progress of the childhood obesity epidemic, and helped implement ARHealthNetworks, Arkansas’s health care benefits waiver for low income workers. He currently serves on the Arkansas Board of Health and is past President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Nationally, Dr. Thompson serves on the board of Academy Health and on the Health Care Financing and Organization National Advisory Panel. He is author of numerous articles and publications that reflect his research interests in the areas of health and health care including access, quality and finance. Dr. Thompson earned his Medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as the RWJF Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Luther Terry Fellow in Preventive Medicine advising the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health in Washington, DC and the Assistant Vice President and Director of Research at the National Committee for Quality Assurance in Washington, DC. In 1997, he served as the First Child and Adolescent Health Scholar of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (then the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) before returning to Arkansas.