Dear OAC Members, supporters and followers –
As we end this year, I want to share a few highlights (yes, even in 2020 we managed to have a few highlights!) and say thank you to the OAC Community in my final message to you as the Chairwoman of the National Board of Directors for the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).
It has been an absolute honor and privilege to chair this organization made up of people who share a common passion for making the world a better place for those affected by obesity. People who are the first to raise their voices to dispel myths about obesity, challenge damaging bias and stigma, fight to increase access to treatment and care, and fight for obesity to be treated in the same manner any other chronic disease would be. Thank you for the opportunity to fight the good fight alongside you.
I’m extremely proud of our accomplishments as an organization. This year, despite a global pandemic, we have taken all that we do in advocacy, education and support and found new and innovative ways to connect and continue our important work. It has been especially wonderful and most fulfilling to watch the OAC Community grow (+25% in the last two years) – and with those increased numbers, the increased strength of our coalition.
Here are just a few OAC highlights from the past two years:
- Launched the (no-fee entry) OAC Community
- Launched the OAC Action Program
- Launched ObesityCareProviders.com and WeightoftheWorld.com
- Debuted third national television commercial for the Your Weight Matters Campaign
- Took on various weight bias and access to care issues
- Published research on implicit and explicit weight bias
- Hosted YWM2020-VIRTUAL with attendees from 47 U.S. states and 59 countries
- Expanded our global advocacy through participation in the Global Obesity Patient Alliance
- Debuted OAC-TV
- Debuted the Living Well Guide
- Increased our bilingual educational materials
- Increased our social media engagement
All of the above and so much more were made possible because of our amazing community. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you at our Annual meetings and now getting to know even more people online as we find new ways to engage with one another. Thank you for all the ways you are helping – reading our emails, telling friends and family about the OAC, making donations of dollars and time, visiting the OAC Action Center, taking part in our initiatives, sharing and supporting others online with a like, share, retweet or comment, sharing your stories, and being a part of this diverse and wonderful community.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
I am looking forward to my next role as Chair of the Weight Bias Committee and continuing to take #OACAction together. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2021!
Michelle “Shelly” Vicari