Date:  Sept.16, 2013





George Family Foundation Gives $500,000 to IOM for 'A Healthy America'


WASHINGTON -- The George Family Foundation has made a gift of $500,000 to the Institute of Medicine to help launch "A Healthy America," a public health media campaign that will draw upon evidence-based advice to motivate people to live healthy lives.  The IOM will collaborate with the nonprofit Public Good Projects on the initiative.


"We are enthusiastic in our support of 'A Healthy America' because it will help all Americans live healthier, longer lives," said George Family Foundation President Penny George. "Combining the best available public health expertise with innovative media platforms and communications tools, 'A Healthy America' will provide millions of people with scientifically sound health information that inspires them to engage actively in promoting their own health."


Although the U.S. has achieved many important public health successes, life expectancy lags behind most other developed nations, the rates of preventable illnesses and the costs of treating them are on the rise, and obesity, heart disease, and diabetes continue to increase, according to reports from IOM and other health organizations.  "A Healthy America" will be a large-scale communication campaign aimed at educating Americans to improve their overall health and well-being.


"We're pleased and grateful that the George Family Foundation is supporting this important new initiative," said Institute of Medicine President Harvey V. Fineberg. "Through 'A Healthy America,' IOM will be engaging the public more directly and maximizing the impact of our evidence-based findings and recommendations on health and health care."


IOM and HBO worked together in 2012 to produce "The Weight of the Nation," a four-part, critically acclaimed documentary project for HBO that combined public health expertise with compelling storytelling about America's obesity epidemic. That model will inform "A Healthy America," which will also forge partnerships with government agencies and academic, corporate, philanthropic, and health care entities, along with top news, entertainment, and social networking companies to produce scientifically accurate, interesting narratives about public health.


In addition to the George Family Foundation, which pledged its gift for the project through the IOM's Harvey V. Fineberg Impact Fund, the California Endowment is also supporting "A Healthy America." The initiative has set a $10 million fundraising goal to support research and development over the next two years.


Founded in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a values-centered philanthropic organization that partners with people and organizations to have a transformative impact in the areas of integrative health and well-being, authentic leadership, and spirituality in everyday life.  Through leadership, grant making, and strategic partnerships, the George Family Foundation fosters wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.


Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. 




Molly Galvin, Senior Media Relations Officer

Chelsea Dickson, Media Relations Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail

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