Name: Katie Bishop
Title: Manager of State and Local Obesity Policy
Organization: American Heart Association
Katie Bishop has recently joined the staff of the American Heart Association’s Manager of State and Local Obesity Policy. Katie is a true leader in the field and brings years of experience from state house work and comes recently from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Take some time to learn more about Katie and her interest in the movement. Connect with Katie directly through her PreventObesity.net Leader profile.
What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
When I was working in the Massachusetts State Legislature, I was most impassioned about the bills that were related to nutrition and public health. The first bill that I got involved with and energized about that involved childhood obesity issues
, was a bill about Massachusetts competitive foods in schools. I could see that changing the food environment for children helps to change their lifelong eating habits and set them up for success for the rest of their lives.
What inspired you to work in procurement?
I got into procurement when I started working at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Procurement was a newer policy area, so that was exciting. One of the fun things about procurement is that it wasn't as established; I have had fun encouraging people to work on it, learn what it is and get past its wonky name. I would define procurement as improving the food and beverages available in public places. Procurement is all about creating a culture of health on public property.
How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
I am helping reverse childhood obesity by providing support to state and community advocates across the country that are working to ensure that people have access to healthy food when they are on public property.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
I think that my greatest accomplishment in procurement so far has been passing the vending and service procurement bill in D.C. in the summer of 2014. The great thing about that policy was that I got to be one of the advocates on the ground helping to pass the bill. I had been doing procurement work for a while and because I was able to give support for this bill the ground, I was able to see firsthand that the fact sheets and information that I had developed for other campaigns were resonating with councilmembers in D.C.
What do you look forward to most about your job?
I look forward to talking through problems with advocates on the ground. This not only helps to work through the issues in that state or community, but helps to better inform how to move forward in other locations, and ultimately pass policies to impact people’s lives.
What healthy snacks did you enjoy growing up?
I have fond memories of eating lots of apples growing up. My grandparents were apple farmers, so all summer I would eat the tart, un-ripened apples at their farm, and then in the fall I would eat the ripened apples. To this day, I prefer the tart, crisp apples traditional to New England over the overly sweet Delicious or Fuji-type apples.
Each week, our own Amy Stone speaks with a Leader to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Visit Amy's profile and contact her.