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Policy Corner: Dr. Howard Koh of HHS Addresses Annual Meeting

Intense interest in Dr. Howard Koh's participation in the 60th ACSM Annual Meeting led to an overflow crowd for his May 31 session. Dr. Koh, who serves as Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about physical activity as a public health priority and public policies to encourage healthy lifestyles. His session benefitted from a dialogue with his fellow physicians Elizabeth Joy, MD, FACSM, and Robert Sallis, MD, FACSM. Dr. Koh noted that he is a lifelong proponent of healthy lifestyles and appreciates the many co-benefits of physical activity for people of every age. Numerous questions from the audience signaled concurrence on the importance of this emerging public health priority.

In separate meetings with ACSM leaders, Dr. Koh indicated strong interest and appreciation for Exercise is Medicine and the National Physical Activity Plan and requested a briefing on those and other initiatives. He helped revive and bolster the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, for which numerous ACSM members serve as science advisors.

Dr. Koh expressed deep appreciation for the invitation to speak and enthusiasm for future collaboration between his office and ACSM. more

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