Closing the Gap: Childhood Obesity

Join the online conversation with #KidsHealthMatters, or watch the video from our May 8 forum by clicking on the player to the right.


The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Grantmakers In Health (GIH) hosted a daylong forum on May 8th, focused on addressing access and equity barriers to closing the gaps in childhood obesity in the United States. The forum focused on solutions to the policy and systems challenges that stand in the way of all kids having access to healthier foods, physical activity, and healthcare. The event is available on Livestream and leveraged a robust social media strategy to reach an even broader audience.

View the full PDF version of the program.



8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Welcome & Framing Remarks

Brian Strom, Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Closing the Divide in Children’s Health: A Place for Everyone at the Table

Moderator: Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Monifa Bandele, Campaign Director, MomsRising
Leslie Crutchfield, Senior Advisor, FSG and Author
Manoj Fenelon, First Mover Fellow, Aspen Institute
Sam Kass, Executive Director, Let's Move Initiative
Nichole June Maher, President & CEO, Northwest Health Foundation

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Access to Healthy Foods and Beverages

Framing Speaker: Haile Thomas, Youth Health Advocate
Moderator: Joy Bauer, Nutrition Expert, TODAY Show, NBC News
Michael Jacobson, Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Kevin McCartney, Senior Vice President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Susan Neely, President and CEO, American Beverage Association
Wendell Pierce, Actor and President, Sterling Farms
Janisse Rosario-Schoepp, Director of Policy, Health Foundation of South Florida
Will Rosenzweig, Commission Chair, Vitality Institute; Managing Partner, Physic Ventures

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Opportunities to be Physically Active

Framing Speaker: Kianna Knolland, National Youth of the Year, Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Moderator: Jenna Wolfe, TODAY Show Anchor and Correspondent, NBC News
T. Morgan Dixon, Director, GirlTrek
NiCole Keith, Research Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research
Caitlin Morris, North America Executive Director, Access to Sport, Nike
Darius Sollohub, Director, New Jersey School of Architecture
Eli Wolff, Program Director, Inclusive Sports Initiative, Institute for Human Centered Design

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
What's Next? Taking Our Efforts to the Next Level

Framing Speaker: Andrew Smith, Student Athlete, Irvington Blue Knights
Moderator: Richard H. Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States
Travis Bogard, Vice President, Product Management and Strategy, Jawbone
Susan Dentzer, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Eduardo Sanchez, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, American Heart Association
Kenneth Thorpe, Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health
Faith Mitchell, President and CEO, Grantmakers In Health

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Networking Reception