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Dr. Visser is voice for chiropractic in Pan American Health Organization

Dr. Visser with First Lady Michelle Obama at the Building a Healthier Future Summit in March.
Dr. Visser talking with the First Lady

Minister of Health and Sports for Aruba Richard Visser, D.C. (West '93), has been a strong advocate for chiropractic's participation in health organizations in his region, and a voice for action on health issues such as childhood obesity.

His most recent endeavor was participating in the "Building a Healthier Future Summit," held March 6-8 in Washington, D.C. At this conference he had the honor of meeting First Lady Michelle Obama, who shares his passion for dealing with the issue of childhood obesity. Ms. Obama is honorary chair of Partnership for a Healthier America, which sponsored the conference.

Dr. Visser was one of four international panelists joining Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Nils Daulaire speaking on the issues of global childhood obesity at the conference. He highlighted Aruba's innovative domestic initiatives to reduce childhood obesity and related diseases through National Plan Aruba 2009-2018 and community-based action to promote physical activity and healthy eating. Dr. Visser created the Institute for Healthy and Active Living to increase health promotion and prevention of noncommunicable diseases. Results to date show that the number of people engaging in moderate to intense physical activity on a regular basis in Aruba has increased from nine percent to 39 percent since 2009. Dr. Visser is planning the third Pan American Conference on Obesity (PACO III) in Aruba June 6-8, 2013.

In September 2012, Dr. Visser participated in the 28th annual Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington, D.C. During this conference, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten were admitted as new Associate Members of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This category of membership will enable the three countries to participate directly in PAHO activities. According to Dr. Visser, this membership in PAHO marks "a new beginning for Aruba" and "reflects the need for closer relations with the countries of the Caribbean" to face common health problems, such as noncommunicable diseases.

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