Frist Named As Vice Chair For First Lady Michelle Obama’s Childhood Obesity Foundation

Partnership for a Healthier America Expands Leadership, Naming Board of Directors and Honorary Vice Chairs

Sen. Frist, Mayor Booker Join First Lady Michelle Obama as Honorary Leaders of Childhood Obesity Foundation
Nine-Member Board of Directors Brings Vast Array of Experience and Expertise to Support Partnership, Guide its Activities

Washington, DC – The Partnership for a Healthier America today announced the addition of key leaders in its effort to address the serious epidemic of childhood obesity. The organization named former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Newark Mayor Cory Booker as Honorary Vice Chairs, and appointed a board of directors, including Dr. James R. Gavin III, who will serve as chairman. The Partnership is working to mobilize the private sector, thought leaders, media, and local communities to action and further the goals of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity within a generation.
In their roles, Frist, Booker, Gavin, and the board of directors bring valuable leadership and experience to help drive the Partnership’s activities and ensure the organization is effective in establishing measurable solutions for fighting obesity.

On a conference call today with Frist, Booker, and Gavin, the First Lady welcomed the Partnership’s new leaders. “Reversing the obesity trend has never been more important to the health of our nation and, to succeed, it will take the combined effort of public and private sectors,” the First Lady said. “I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and resolve of the honorary vice chairs and new board of directors, and I am confident that their leadership and experience will help us achieve our goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation.”
A licensed physician, Frist has long recognized the growing danger of the obesity epidemic. “As childhood obesity continues to threaten the health and future of all American children, the time has come for meaningful, measurable solutions to solve this crisis,” Frist said. “I look forward to working to mobilize leaders across this country to take action and improve the health of our nation.”
Similarly, Booker has worked tirelessly to promote healthy lifestyles and physical fitness for all Newark residents. “My experiences in Newark have shown me that the fight against childhood obesity can only be won if all people come together to find real, achievable solutions,” Booker said. “I am excited to join in this effort and help bring our nation together for this important cause.”
As the Partnership’s board chairman, Dr. Gavin brings a deep knowledge of childhood obesity-related illnesses and the policy and environmental influences that are contributing factors. He currently serves as chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Healing Our Village, Inc., a health communication corporation developing methods to assure health care system change that promotes patient behavior change for improved health outcomes in medically-underserved populations.

“The Partnership for a Healthier America will fill a unique niche among childhood obesity initiatives across the country, by working to target industry-specific solutions that can be measured and tracked,” Gavin said. “I am pleased to help lead this organization in efforts to develop a strong network of committed and solution-oriented members dedicated to curbing childhood obesity within a generation.”
Other newly-appointed members of the board of directors are Deborah DeHaas, Peter Dolan, S. Lawrence Kocot, Deborah Landesman, Janet Murguía, Vivian Riefberg, William L. Roper, and Antronette K. Yancey.
These board members bring significant experience and expertise that will support the Partnership’s activities and help ensure its success. Members offer medical expertise on issues related to childhood obesity; have experience leading large companies, as well as organizations focused on driving social change; and represent multiple communities highly affected by the childhood obesity epidemic. For complete board member biographies, please visit

About the Partnership for a Healthier America

The Partnership for a Healthier America is an independent, nonpartisan organization that will mobilize broad-based support for efforts to solve the child obesity challenge. Core activities of the Partnership include:

  • Developing a strong membership network of leaders across sectors with commitment to scaling meaningful and measurable solutions;
  • Convening members annually to affirm, align, and announce commitments;
  • Promoting broad understanding among all sectors about the role healthy food, physical activity, and the environment play in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic;
  • Facilitating and measuring the impact of members’ commitments against clear and transparent targets; and
  • Connecting potential partners in the private and nonprofit sectors to each other and to the correct points of contact in government to ensure efficient leveraging of actions, and sharing of knowledge and lessons learned at the community, state, and national levels.


The Partnership emerged out of a series of conversations between The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which is a partnership of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, LLP has provided operational and legal support in establishing the Foundation. The Brookings Institution has also contributed thought leadership to the effort.

For more information about the Partnership for a Healthier America, please

About the Let’s Move! Campaign

The First Lady’s nationwide initiative seeks to solve the challenge of childhood obesity, so that America’s youngest children reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Her plan offers four pillars:

  • Offering parents the tools and information they need to make healthy choices for their kids;
  • Getting healthier food into our nation’s schools;
  • Ensuring that all our families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities; and
  • Increasing opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of school.


The Partnership will support these pillars through a campaign to unite and inspire families from every corner of the United States to take real and sustained actions to eat better, be more active, and make a commitment to embracing healthier lifestyles.

For more information on Let’s Move!, visit