Have you heard about the Physical Activity Alliance?
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, and National Physical Activity Society recently merged to form a new 501(c)(3) organization. At the first PAPREN Grand Rounds in May 2020, Laurie Whitsel, PhD, FAHA, of the American Heart Association and senior advisor to PAA and Pam Eidson, MEd introduced the Alliance. In addition, Dr. Whitsel also serves on the PAPREN External Advisory Committee.
Why create the Alliance?
The Alliance mission is to create, support, and advocate policy and system changes that enable all Americans to enjoy physically active lives. We envision an active and healthy nation where opportunity for physical activity is easily available in daily life. To do this, the Physical Activity Alliance combines deep expertise in policy advocacy, strategic planning, and workforce development. We connect planning to policy and advocacy as well as to professionals promoting public health approaches to physical activity.
There are many great initiatives and organizations working on physical activity. Physical Activity Alliance leaders hope the new organization will help connect these to federal policy and systems change work. As Dr. Hadiya Green Guerrero, PT, DPT, PAA Board Secretary and chair of the Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, says, “The potential opportunities are pretty exciting. With three major organizations coming together and so many representations of the physical activity space, we can think of things we don’t in our own silos.”
Where does policy research fit into the work of the Alliance?
Policy research is the foundation of all evidence-based, equity-focused advocacy work. The Physical Activity Alliance combines the evidence foundation underlying the National Physical Activity Plan with the Alliance’s strategic policy agenda and advocacy priorities. Dr. Guerrero notes, “We need research to back up and sustain the work…partnering with PAPREN’s policy expertise increases the potential for societal impact.” PAPREN can contribute to the policy research, implementation science, and outcome evaluation that informs Alliance activities.
How can PAPREN members get involved with the Alliance?
The Alliance does not yet offer individual memberships, but PAPREN members can sign up for our newsletter. Email us for more information on how you can become involved in the work of the PAA like joining NPAP sector teams, PAA webinars, or the policy committee.