From Chronic Root Causes…to K-12 Solutions!
For over 40 years, we have been getting sicker. State & national leaders ignored the early warning signs— increasing Native-American diabetes in the 1960s, & rising minority child obesity in the 1970s.
Now, 1 out of 3 American children will develop diabetes as adults. 2 out of 3 adults will have serious chronic diseases, often multiple diseases. Many of them will die 10-20 years prematurely—and suffer serious lifelong financial problems as well.
…Require Big Solutions
Fortunately, an unhealthy future is preventable. Just as we cut smoking by 2/3 with a concerted effort over the last 50+ years, we can dramatically reduce the root causes of inactivity & unhealthy nutrition.
Healthy Future US is bringing together all of the missing ingredients needed to make this happen: plans, people, policies, programs, payback—whatever it takes, starting K-12.
We are a new kind of change-making organization—serving in a broad range of roles, and tackling the most critical areas needed for large-scale social change.
Our multiple “hats” include: working with nonprofits, governments & employers, and across the health, education & business sectors; advocating at the state level first, as well as federal, county & local, across an increasing number of states; leading & coalition-building; identifying & developing programs and changing systems…and serving as strategists & implementers; conveners & advocates; thought-leaders & get-it-done-ers.
Our approach and “change theory” is so innovative, that many people don’t quite know what to call us. We prefer the term: social entrepreneur. Just as business entrepreneurs are dissatisfied with the status quo, and use their vision, energy, skills, and persistence to succeed—in spite of incredible obstacles, and including thinking “outside the box”: Healthy Future US is doing whatever it takes to empower people to lead healthier lives.
We start with children in schools. This is the least expensive, most practical way to transform the future of an entire state & country. K-12 is a totally unique, low cost, literally once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower & change lives—for students, their families, & their communities. In fact, we believe, supported by mounting evidence, that schools are an indispensable foundation for resolving our health crisis.
We started laying the groundwork in 2007, accelerated in 2010, and moved into advocacy & implementation in 2014. Here is a brief overview of what we have done, what we are working on now, and where we are going in the future. Also, see our History for more details on how we got to this point.
We are benefiting from a great, growing team of board, staff, coalition partners, advisors & funders.
Changing state policies can dramatically improve children’s health, and set them on a healthier path in adulthood. The national-breakthrough recess law, for which we co-led the fight, is increasing physical activity by 50% for 250,000 K-5 students in Arizona. Reforming A-F school accountability will improve health for all 1.1 million public school students in Arizona. And just wait until you hear about the Whole Child School Report Card and the K-12 Prevention Fund….
We searched state- and nation-wide and reviewed hundreds of programs for 5 years. We looked for game-changing, evidence-based K-12 school approaches proven to dramatically increase physical activity, improve healthy nutrition, and enhance social-emotional health for all students. But these strategies also needed to be highly scalable and low cost, with the potential to become self-funding due to health improvement, medical cost savings & high ROI.
Our initial “flagship” approach, Plan-Develop-Assess, can reduce the growth of child obesity and increased the % of fit K-12 students up to 4x—at costs as low as $10/student/year. Together with our partners, we are achieving, what other approaches have been unable to do for 4+ decades!
Our programs reduce health costs by hundreds of dollars per child, and tens of thousands of dollars per adult—resulting in 1st year payback and >20x ROI. Why do they have such a large, rapid impact? Bad news/good news: Children are so sick nowadays from inactivity & unhealthy nutrition—that increasing their activity improves their health immediately! We reduce health costs even more later in life, as healthier child habits delay the on-set and reduce the severity of chronic health conditions in adulthood.
SEAS Systems Change
We use the “80/20” rule, to select a small number of plan goals, policies & programs, which together move the needle—on a statewide and eventually nationwide basis. As part of this, we use our SEAS Change theory framework in everything we do: any plan or policy or program, which we advocate for and get implemented must be: super-Scalable, extremely Effective, Affordable for all, & sustainably Self-funding [S-E-A-S].
We started laying the groundwork in 2007, dedicated more resources in 2010, began advocacy in 2014—leading to major policy breakthroughs in 2017…