CDC Provides Game Changer Award to Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Game Changer Award AcceptancePress Releases:
Safe Routes to School National Partnership Honored with One of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Pioneering Innovation Awards

CDC Recognizes Obesity Prevention and Control Initiatives with Pioneering Innovation Awards

It was a true pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to accept the CDC’s Pioneering Innovation Award for “Game Changer” on behalf the Safe Routes to School National Partnership at the Weight of the Nation awards dinner tonight.

We send our special thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the CDC, Bikes Belong, our Steering Committee, our staff, other funders and our more than 500 partners for contributing toward this success.

Drawing on the theme of changing the game -- Safe Routes to School and the movement that has blossomed to create safer streets for kids is truly a team effort. Safe Routes to School is in effect in all 50 states, in more than 12,000 schools and serving more than five million kids.

This award shines a light on the work of dedicated policymakers, engineers and planners, countless parent volunteers, non-profits, committed educators and enthusiastic children who are true game changers in tens of thousands of communities across the country. I continue to be inspired when people share their stories about new sidewalks and pathways and how more kids are walking and bicycling. As was stated in the Institute of Medicine report released this morning, schools are positioned to be a national focal point for obesity prevention.

As we move into the future, you’ll see the Safe Routes to School National Partnership focusing on three strategies to improve the built environment:

1)    Breaking down silos and building partnerships – we need to collaborate to achieve a transportation transformation and bring health into all policies

2)    Assisting lower income communities, the populations that are most vulnerable to childhood obesity and safety concerns, and

3)    Empowering kids – our greatest spokespeople can be the youth of America. Their voices can help us achieve the policy changes that we’re striving for.

In terms of winning the game to reverse childhood obesity, we have much further to go, but let’s not wait until the 7th inning to take a stretch.

Thank you so much to everyone – and there are many - who have contributed to the successes of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. We look forward to working together to build a stronger, healthier and more equitable America.

Congratulations also to the other award winners! Here’s the full list:

  • Systems Change Award, Steve Kelder, MPH, PhD, Co-Director, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health
  • Community Mobilization Award, Toni Yancey, MD, MPH, Co-Director, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, UCLA School of Public Health
  • Game Changer Award, Deb Hubsmith, Director, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
  • Applied Obesity Research Award, Tracy Orleans, PhD, Senior Scientist, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation including James Sallis, PhD, Director, Active Living Research, and Mary Story, PhD, RD, Healthy Eating Research
  • Moving Forward With Technology Award, Christopher Fulcher, PhD, Co-Director, CARES
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, William Dietz, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention