Vitamin D

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

On Thursday, February 17, the committee heard presentations by Dr. Robert Heaney of Creighton University in Nebraska and Carole Baggerly, of GrassrootsHealth, a public health promotion organization from California. The two presentations explained the connection between adequate blood serum levels of vitamin D and decreased incidence of chronic disease and illness. Dr. Heaney showed that the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for daily vitamin D intake is too low, and has not caught up with current science. GrassrootsHealth’s message was to make vitamin D awareness, testing and supplementation a public health initiative, and estimated that the State of Alaska could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars by doing so.

“Vitamin D and Your Health,” Saturday the 19th I hosted a public health fair with a GrassrootsHealth presentation to both the public and local Juneau healthcare providers. Cancer Connection, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Rainforest Naturopathic Clinic, Bartlett Regional Hospital, the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, and the Division of Public Health’s Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion were all represented at the event. Each had an information booth on a wide array of preventative health and wellness information. This included anything from diabetes, heart disease and cancer prevention to injury and suicide prevention. The event was successful, considering heavy snowfall in Juneau, and that many in the audience had good questions for Carole Baggerly after her vitamin D presentation. I want to thank my staff who put in many extra hours to make this event happen, and especially my intern, Crystal, who did so much of the coordination and was in charge of all of us on this project.

From Representative Paul Seaton, Homer, Alaska Rotarian

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