Kaiser Permanente to Co-Host Screening with Prince George's Health Department and Community Health Advocacy Groups; Discussion of HBO's THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION Documentary

May 11, 2012, 14:15 ET from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Event Will Promote Education and Action to Combat Obesity

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is spearheading a regional public education campaign to improve health in local communities by partnering with the Prince George's County Health Department, Place Matters Prince George's County, and the Port Towns Community Health Partnership (PTCHP) to host a screening of the new HBO documentary film THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION. The Kaiser Permanente screening will be held at the Prince George's County Community College (301 Largo Road, Largo Md.) in the Rennie Forum on Tuesday, May 15 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., including a town hall discussion with regional public health experts and local officials. Twitter hashtags #weightofthenation and #WOTNPGC

"Health and wellness are the building blocks for strong, productive and vibrant communities," said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., associate medical director, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. "Each of us can make a significant difference by not only creating healthier lifestyles but also advocating for policy changes in community health. This event - and this public education campaign - is about helping individuals and communities realize their ability to help solve this critical problem."

THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION is a four-part documentary series, each section featuring case studies and interviews with the nation's leading experts and with individuals struggling with obesity. It was produced with the Institute of Medicine, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. The screening will feature the fourth part of the series, "Challenges," which examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic and promising solutions from across the nation. To activate collaborative efforts and engage communities around THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION documentary and movement, HBO is distributing 40,000 screening toolkits and discussion guides to support local community engagement. 

In Prince George's County, residents suffer some of the highest rates of obesity and lifestyle-related chronic illness in the state of Maryland, making this campaign critical to engage county leaders and health advocates in a dialogue and call to action. The event will not only raise awareness of the severity of the problem, but will present case studies on how people and communities across the country are taking action and making positive changes. This event is specifically designed to spur action from citizens, policymakers and health activists to identify barriers to good health in the county and solutions that will reverse obesity trends through changes to policies and built-environments. 

Immediately following the documentary, President and Co-founder of CommonHealth Action and Institute of Public Health Innovation, Natalie S. Burke, will facilitate an interactive town hall discussion of the themes addressed in the film and the county's potential for action. Panelists include: Pamela Creekmur, acting health officer, Prince George's County Health Department; Shital Desai, M.D., practicing internist with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group; Maya, Rockeymoore, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Global Policy Solutions and policy expert.; Philip Bors, MPH, project officer, Active Living by Design.

This documentary presentation and discussion is an extension of Kaiser Permanente's commitment to improving the total health of the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Initiatives for Healthy Eating, Active Living support more than 40 obesity prevention collaborative projects, which aspire to transform policies, practices, and environments in schools, neighborhoods, health care sites, and workplaces.

To view the HBO documentary THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION trailer, visit: http://bit.ly/K2B697 

To request a screening toolkit, visit: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/screenings/request-screening    

Learn how Kaiser Permanente is addressing this public health crisis, visit www.kp.org/weightofthenation  

About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for almost 500,000 members through 30 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features approximately 900 physicians who provide or arrange care for patients throughout the area.  Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is considered one of Maryland's "Top HMOs," according to the Maryland Health Care Commission.  The health plan was ranked in the nation's 50 top commercial health plans and 20 top Medicare health plans – and the #1 Medicare plan for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. – by "NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-2012 Private."  For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit www.kp.org or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/KPMidAtlantic.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States