September 2016 Newsletter

As we feel the snap of autumn in the air, we know that the sting of winter is not far behind. The change of seasons brings to mind the challenges so many in our communities will face as they struggle to heat their homes as days grow cold, keep lights on as daylight fades and put food on their tables as bellies crave comfort. The Root Cause Coalition remains committed to bringing our health care partners together to develop and share ways in which we can bring sustainable solutions to these challenging issues; as addressing these basic needs helps individuals – and communities – attain optimal health.

To that end, if you have not already registered for the The Root Cause Coalition’s Inaugural Summit on Social Determinants, please click here and do so today! Space is limited and filling fast. As a reminder, the event is December 5 & 6 in Chicago, with an agenda that brings together experts from across the nation and across disciplines to provide an engaging and worthwhile dialogue throughout our two days. The Summit is committed to sharing creative and meaningful solutions while at the same time giving time for discussion and problem solving, as we know that while our commitment to solving these issues runs deep, we have yet to fully address them. Together we are confident that the Summit will yield a bounty of new ideas that will ultimately have a significant impact on the health and well-being of those individuals and families who call our communities home.

We look forward to counting you and your colleagues among us in Chicago, and until then please share your ideas and feedback with us as our organization in partnership with our members works to develop sustainable strategies for health improvement. We are grateful for your support and look forward to our work in the days ahead


Barbara J. Petee
Executive Director

The Root Cause Coalition Member Spotlight: Toledo/Lucas County CareNet
Toledo/Lucas County CareNet is a nonprofit partnership that provides access to coordinated healthcare services to low-income residents of Lucas County, Ohio. Founded in 2003 by ProMedica, Mercy Health, the City of Toledo, the University of Toledo Medical Center and other partners as an extension of their efforts to increase access to care, CareNet coordinates a charity care network. This network includes eight hospitals, 15 primary care clinics and 200 specialists who accept referrals. More than 27,000 membership cards have been issued to residents, who either receive care at no charge or on a sliding fee scale.
CareNet’s scope evolved starting with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. CareNet advocated for Ohio to expand Medicaid eligibility, which was approved and went into effect in January 2014. As a result of this monumental change in access, CareNet also provides insurance navigation services to residents throughout northwest Ohio. Additionally, CareNet provides care coordination services to help low-income Lucas County residents utilize their coverage effectively and address the social determinants of health by connecting them to needed community resources, including food, transportation and housing.
Recent Ventures and Upcoming Events

We recently participated in Mediaplanet USA’s Hunger in America campaign where we united with likeminded industry leaders to educate readers on the food crisis in America, and encourage them to take action by donating, volunteering or simply lending their voice to the cause. The campaign was distributed through USA TODAY on September 16th and is published online. For the full campaign, visit:

Don’t forget to follow this and the other work of The Root Cause Coalition on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

December 5-6, 2016 – First Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health in Chicago, IL – click here for more information and to register! Summit sessions will include talks on “Malnutrition – Policy Implications and Consumer Habits”, “Housing and Health: Building a Stronger Community”, “Global Environment and Its Effect on Health” and so much more!
Research Highlights
1. Adult Obesity Rates Down in Four States
Data reported earlier this month from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) revealed a decrease in adult obesity rates in Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio. This marked the first time in the past decade in which any states experienced decreases – aside from a decline in Washington, D.C. in 2010. Despite this modest decrease, the report also discovered adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in four states, and are above 20 percent in all states, with Louisiana having the highest adult obesity rate at 36.2 percent.

Obesity has continued to put millions of Americans at increased risk for a range of chronic diseases, and has cost the country between $147 billion and $210 billion each year. Richard Hamburg, interim president and CEO, TFAH summarized the findings of the report by sharing, “These new data suggest that we are making some progress, but there’s more yet to do. . . Improving nutrition and increasing activity in early childhood, making healthy choices easier in people’s daily lives and targeting the startling inequities are all key approaches we need to ramp up.”

2. Reconsidering breakfast intake and children’s neuropsychological function through the lens of behavioral economics
In a study published this month by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors found the effects of children’s neuropsychological functioning (NF) remained relatively unchanged with breakfast consumption; implying skipping breakfast may not be as harmful for NF domains among youth a previously known. However, the authors of this repoty sumize behavioral economics could provide a fresh lens through which to re-examine this topic, reconcile inconsistent findings, and perhaps guide novel interventions to promote nutrition and executive function.

3. Relation between mealtime distribution of protein intake and lean mass loss in free-living older adults of the NuAge study
Previous studies have shown even amounts of protein consumption across all meals increased in 24-hour muscle protein synthesis in young adults. However, the authors of this recent article studied the effects of protein consumption into long-term preservation of lean muscle mass in older adults (50 + years of age). Even distribution of protein throughout daily consumption showed a higher lean mass (LM) and appendicular LM (aLM) in both older men and women. Hence the findings showed improving nutrition and physical activity earlier in adult life may help in reaching and maintaining higher LM in later years.

The Root Cause Coalition newsletter is published monthly to provide updates on our work in addressing the social determinants of health, with specific emphasis on hunger as a public health issue, and our work in improving the health status of individuals and communities. If you would like more information, please be sure to visit our website at or contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]