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New England Coalition for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Updates & Reports on NECON Activities

OCTOBER 5, 1999
Rockport, ME

Gov. Angus S. King, Jr. chaired the NEGC meeting. The governors received a briefing on a range of critical health care issues affecting the region's citizens from NECON's panel of health care providers. Introduced by Bertram Yaffe, Executive Director of NECON, they formally presented and discussed the recommendations from the 1998 NECON Conference held at Brandeis University.

NECON's recommendations were products of our regional Task Forces and Working Groups with input from the 1998 conference's workshops. The concept of establishing primary and secondary prevention as the hallmark of the region's healthcare system resonated with the governors. The Chair of the Conference, Gov. King, challenged NECON to return for the Fall 2000 Conference with four or five specific strategies for prevention that would engage the communities, the states, and the region and to which the Governors' Conference would add its imprimatur and its leadership.

The following was taken from the Autumn 1999 NEGC Update (Vol. XII, Number 4):

"The key issue for the NECON coalition over the past year was 'prevention in the emerging health care system.' The presenters were:

    • Judith Kurland, regional Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who spoke about the collaboration among New England managed care providers and the public health care sector. Initial areas of collaboration are: adult immunization, pediatric asthma, smoking by pregnant and parenting women, and diabetes.
    • Megan Hannan, Director of Advocacy, New England Division, American Cancer Society, who addressed recommended strategies for preventing and controlling cancer. Ms. Hannan noted that 'three behaviors have been known to cause about 60% of all cancers: tobacco use, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. With proper education, we can change the course of this disease.'
    • Donna Gallagher, Director, New England AIDS Education and Training Network, who focused on recommended strategies to prevent and abate the continuing challenge of AIDS in the region.
    • Dr. Leonard Keilson, Director of Cardiovascular Health and the Division of Cardiology Department of Medicine at the Maine Medical Center who summarized the report from the heart disease and stroke prevention working group. Dr. Keilson stated: 'There is an opportunity here in New England. New England ranks number one in the nation, all of our states, in the ability to apply preventive measures following a heart attack ... If we can collaborate better amongst our states and share data and encourage the use of preventive measures amongst providers throughout the region, I think we really can eliminate heart disease as a common cause of death over the next 20 years.'"

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