The History of the White House Easter Egg Roll

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that has captivated generations of Americans, blending the Easter spirit with the nation’s most important house. Since 1878, the White House has been home to one of the oldest annual events in its history—the Easter Egg Roll. The festive occasion, held on the South Lawn, brings families together in a spirit of joy and camaraderie.

The White House Easter Egg Roll began in the 19th century, when children would roll eggs down the slopes of Capitol Hill on Easter Monday. This tradition, filled with laughter and excitement, quickly gained popularity, becoming a popular Easter pastime for families in Washington D.C. and beyond. However, as the event grew in popularity, concerns arose about the impact of egg rolling on the grounds of Capitol Hill. The playful activities of children rolling eggs down the hill began to take a toll on the landscape, prompting authorities to take action. In 1876, a ban was placed on egg rolling on Capitol Hill, effectively putting an end to this beloved Easter tradition in that location.

Despite the ban, the spirit of Easter and the joy of egg rolling remained alive in the hearts of children and families. In a moment of inspiration and goodwill, President Rutherford B. Hayes made a historic decision in 1878 that would forever change the course of Easter celebrations in America. Recognizing the importance of preserving traditions and fostering a sense of community, President Hayes opened the South Lawn of the White House to egg rollers.

Throughout history, American presidents and their families have added their own unique touches to the Easter Egg Roll. From egg roll races hosted by the Nixons to wooden egg hunts with signatures of famous people by the Reagans, each administration has left its mark on this iconic event. Over the years, the Egg Roll has been enhanced by memorable attractions and souvenirs. From certificates of participation to plastic eggs with notes from First Ladies, these mementos add to the magic of the day.

The Egg Roll is not just a singular event but a day filled with many Easter related activities that cater to people of all ages and interests. Beyond the traditional egg rolling, attendees can immerse themselves in a world of excitement and fun through a variety of engaging and entertaining activities. One of the highlights is the egg ball game, where participants use specially designed balls resembling eggs to play a unique and lively version of traditional ball games. Another popular activity is the egg toss and catch, where participants form teams and test their coordination and teamwork skills by tossing and catching eggs at varying distances.

In addition to these egg-themed activities, the event offers a range of live entertainment options that cater to diverse tastes and interests. From musical performances and dance showcases to interactive shows and demonstrations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and be entertained by. Moreover, storytelling sessions add a touch of magic and imagination to the day, transporting participants into enchanting worlds of  tales and adventures. Storytellers captivate audiences of all ages with their engaging narratives, fostering a love for storytelling and literature among attendees.

The Egg Roll has weathered challenges, including cancellations during wartime and inclement weather. Yet, it has always bounced back, showcasing the resilience and enduring spirit of the White House and its traditions. In recent years, the Egg Roll faced challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak, leading to cancellations by Presidents Trump and Biden, in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

As we look forward to the 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll, let’s celebrate its rich history, cherished traditions, and the joy it brings to families across the nation. It’s a time to come together to celebrate the United States and the Easter holiday.

Cited Sources:

“Easter Egg Roll: Fanfare and Keepsakes.” WHHA (En-US), 2022, www.whitehousehistory.org/easter-egg-roll-keepsakes. Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

“Easter Egg Roll: Years without an Easter Monday.” WHHA (En-US), 2020, www.whitehousehistory.org/easter-egg-roll-wartime. Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

“Easter Egg Roll: Games, Old and New.” WHHA (En-US), 2024, www.whitehousehistory.org/easter-egg-roll-games. Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

“Origins of the White House Easter Egg Roll.” WHHA (En-US), 2023, www.whitehousehistory.org/origins-of-the-white-house-easter-egg-roll. Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

Image Source:

“Gallery Item Display (U.S. National Park Service).” Nps.gov, 2024, www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery-item.htm?pg=2940588&id=0e506461-0bbe-437f-ae05-278532644125&gid=2EE520BE-1DD8-B71C-07A70F451399D44D. Accessed 22 Mar. 2024.

Unbought and Unbossed: Celebrating Shirley Chisholm’s Impact on Women’s History

During Women’s History Month this March, it’s crucial to honor the remarkable women who have paved the way for gender equality and empowerment. Among these trailblazers stands Shirley Chisholm, a fearless leader whose unwavering commitment to justice and equality continues to inspire women globally. At Sabre88, we are excited to contribute towards equalizing opportunities between genders, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Shirley Chisholm. The unbought, unbossed empowerment and advocacy embodied by Chisholm similarly fuels our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable future for all. 

Shirley Anita Chisholm was born on November 30, 1924, in the vibrant borough of Brooklyn, New York. Raised by immigrant parents hailing from Guyana and Barbados, Chisholm’s upbringing instilled in her a deep sense of resilience and determination. Even from a young age, she displayed a fiery passion for education and social justice, propelling her towards a future of advocacy and leadership.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College in 1946, Chisholm embarked on a journey that would ultimately reshape American politics. With her sights set on breaking barriers and championing the rights of marginalized communities.

Shirley Chisholm made history in 1968 by becoming the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th congressional district. Throughout her seven terms in Congress, she left an indelible mark on American politics by championing civil rights, women’s rights, and economic justice. Her fearless advocacy earned her the nickname “Fighting Shirley,” a testament to her unwavering commitment to principle.

During her tenure in Congress, Chisholm fearlessly fought for policies and legislation that aimed to address systemic inequalities and empower marginalized communities. She played a pivotal role in shaping laws that promoted social justice, including initiatives to expand access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities for all Americans. Chisholm’s relentless efforts paved the way for progress in areas such as voting rights, racial equality, and economic empowerment, leaving a lasting impact on the fabric of American society.

In addition to her legislative achievements, Chisholm’s groundbreaking presidential campaign in 1972 further solidified her legacy as a trailblazer in American politics. As the first African American woman to seek the nomination of a major political party, she shattered barriers and inspired generations of future leaders to pursue their dreams without limitations. Chisholm’s bold vision and unwavering dedication to justice continue to inspire activists and changemakers around the world, reminding us of the power of one individual to spark meaningful change.

Shirley Chisholm’s iconic slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed,” encapsulates her fearless spirit and refusal to conform to the status quo. Throughout her political career, she defied expectations and challenged the entrenched power structures that marginalized women and people of color. As the voice of the marginalized and disenfranchised, Chisholm shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for future generations of women to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Shirley Chisholm’s impact extends far beyond her groundbreaking achievements in politics. Her legacy continues to inspire women and activists around the world, reminding us of the power of courage, resilience, and determination in the face of adversity. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Sabre88 would like to recognize the commitment Shirley Chisholm made to the fight for gender equality and empowerment.

Cited Sources:

Michals, Debra.  “Shirley Chisholm.”  National Women’s History Museum.  National Women’s History Museum, 2015. March 8, 2024. 

“Shirley Chisholm.” Biography, Biography, 4 May 2021, www.biography.com/political-figures/shirley-chisholm. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

Zapata, Christian. “Shirley Chisholm – Facts, Accomplishments & Legacy | HISTORY.” HISTORY, 18 Dec. 2009, www.history.com/topics/us-government-and-politics/shirley-chisholm. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

‌“Shirley Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005).” National Archives, 18 Nov. 2020, www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/individuals/shirley-chisholm. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

“Shirley Chisholm for President.” National Museum of African American History and Culture, 30 Sept. 2016, nmaahc.si.edu/shirley-chisholm-president. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

“Shirley A. Chisholm Biography» Women of the CBC» Avoice – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation» African American Voices in Congress.” Avoice – Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, 2022, avoice.cbcfinc.org/exhibits/women-of-the-cbc/shirley-a-chisholm-biography/. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

‌Photo Credit:

“Shirley Chisholm (American Politician and Activist) | Britannica.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2024, www.britannica.com/biography/Shirley-Chisholm/images-videos. Accessed 8 Mar. 2024.

The Role of the HubZone Program in Empowering Black Communities

In today’s society, economic disparities disproportionately affect communities of color, particularly Black communities. Amidst these challenges, initiatives like the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HubZone) program are positive opportunities for economic empowerment and growth. From limited access to capital and resources to systemic barriers in accessing opportunities, these disparities hinder economic advancement and perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality. Addressing these issues requires intentional efforts and targeted initiatives aimed at leveling the playing field. Sabre88 has been enrolled within the HubZone program for the past year. In this blog post, we will discuss the significant role of the HubZone program in bridging economic disparities and empowering Black communities across the United States.

The HubZone program is a federal initiative established to stimulate economic development in distressed areas by providing preferential access to government contracts. The program targets areas characterized by high unemployment rates, low median household incomes, or a combination of both. Businesses located in these designated HubZones can gain certification, unlocking opportunities for growth and sustainability.

At the heart of the HubZone program lies its ability to empower Black communities by offering avenues for entrepreneurship and job creation. By designating targeted areas as HubZones, the program directs resources and investments to communities that have historically been overlooked or marginalized. The ripple effect from HubZone designations fosters local business development, promotes job opportunities, and spurs economic activity from within.

One of the most significant barriers facing Black entrepreneurs is access to capital and contracts. The HubZone program addresses this challenge head-on by providing preferential treatment in federal contracting opportunities, including set-asides and sole-source awards. This levels the playing field, allowing Black-owned businesses in HubZone areas to compete more effectively and secure lucrative contracts that drive growth and sustainability.

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s essential to recognize the role of initiatives like the HubZone program in advancing economic equality and justice. Moving forward, we must continue to advocate for policies and programs that dismantle systemic barriers and uplift underserved communities. By doing so, we can create a future where economic opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of race or zip code.

The HubZone program represents more than just a government initiative; it symbolizes a commitment to bridging economic disparities and empowering Black communities. Sabre88 is proud to be a HubZone company that is actively pursuing HubZone contracts. Through strategic investments, targeted support, and unwavering dedication, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society that represents all individuals. As we reflect on the significance of Black History Month, here at Sabre88 we are committed to the ongoing journey toward economic justice and empowerment for all.

The Role of the 8(a) Program in Advancing Economic Equity for Black Entrepreneurs

As we celebrate Black History Month this February, it’s important to recognize the pivotal role of initiatives like the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program in fostering economic equity and empowerment for Black entrepreneurs. Sabre88 is a proud 8(a) program graduate, during our tenure in the program many of our opportunities stemmed from the SBA’s 8(a) program. In this blog post, you will delve into the historical context and significance of the 8(a) program, tracing its roots back to the efforts of trailblazers like Congressman Parren Mitchell, and examine how it continues to break barriers and drive positive change for Black-owned businesses today.

The Legacy of Parren Mitchell

In the face of systemic barriers and discrimination, Black entrepreneurs have long faced challenges in accessing resources, networks, and opportunities for business growth. The journey towards economic equity and empowerment has been paved with the relentless efforts of individuals like Congressman Parren Mitchell, who fought against institutionalized racism to open doors for future generations. Congressman Mitchell’s advocacy in Congress, particularly his role in crafting the legislation Public Law 95-507, laid the groundwork for programs that support minority-owned businesses, including the 8(a) program.

Parren Mitchell’s legacy as a champion for civil rights and economic empowerment continues to inspire today. His tireless efforts in Congress, including his chairmanship of the House Small Business Committee, were instrumental in advancing policies that promoted the interests of Black entrepreneurs. Mitchell’s vision and leadership paved the way for the creation of the federal set-aside program, which reserved contracts for socially disadvantaged businesses, including those owned by Black individuals.

The Birth of the 8(a) Program

Stemming from Congressman Mitchell’s legacy, the 8(a) Business Development Program was established to provide targeted assistance to small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. This program, rooted in the principles of equity and inclusion, offers a comprehensive suite of resources and support mechanisms, including mentorship, training, access to capital, and contracting opportunities. By leveling the playing field and addressing historical disparities, the 8(a) program aims to empower Black entrepreneurs to succeed in the competitive marketplace.

Through access to federal contracting opportunities, the 8(a) program enables Black entrepreneurs to tap into lucrative markets and expand their businesses. Moreover, participation in the program fosters capacity building and competitiveness through specialized training and networking events. The success stories emerging from the 8(a) program underscore its transformative impact, illustrating how targeted support can break down barriers and unlock the full potential of Black entrepreneurship.

As we reflect on the significance of Black History Month, it’s crucial to acknowledge the profound contributions of individuals like Parren Mitchell and the enduring legacy of their advocacy. Programs like the 8(a) Business Development Program stand as a testament to the progress we’ve made in advancing economic equity and empowerment for Black entrepreneurs. As a minority owned company, and an 8(a) graduate, Sabre88 honors the past and continues to invest in initiatives that promote inclusion and opportunity.  Together, we can continue to break barriers and build a more equitable future for all.

Cited Sources:

Why do we still celebrate Black History Month? What is the intersection of Black History and gov’t contracting? 

https://govassociationblog.org/?p=660

Black History Month 8(a) Government Contracting Program Webinar https://www.sba.gov/event/41616

Celebrating Black History Month: SBA Programs and Resources https://www.sba.gov/blog/2024/2024-02/celebrating-black-history-month-sba-programs-resources

Photo Credit:

2019 Parren J. Mitchell Dinner with Rep. Elijah Cummings https://www.md30dems.org/2019_parren_j_mitchell_dinner

Celebrating Black History Month: Exploring the origins and evolution of the month within the U.S. Government

Black History Month, is observed annually in February, and stands as a testament to the long list of contributions by African Americans for the United States of America. This month-long celebration has a profound history rooted in the struggle for civil rights and recognition of the achievements of the black community.

The roots of Black History Month trace back to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, often hailed as the “Father of Black History.” Dr. Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, and educator, recognized the need to highlight the historical and cultural achievements of black Americans. In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two iconic figures in the fight against slavery and for civil rights.

About Negro History Week

Negro History Week gained popularity across the nation, fostering a growing awareness of African American history. Over the years, communities, schools, and organizations began to embrace and expand the celebration, recognizing the importance of acknowledging black contributions throughout the entire  month of February.

Federal Government Recognition

The U.S. government played a pivotal role in recognizing and institutionalizing Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” This marked a significant milestone, elevating the status of Black History Month and emphasizing its national importance.

Subsequent presidents continued to endorse and promote Black History Month through official proclamations. These proclamations not only recognized the historical contributions of African Americans but also encouraged educational institutions and communities to organize events, programs, and activities that celebrate the diversity and resilience of the black community.

The evolution of Black History Month within the U.S. government is reflected in its integration into educational curricula. Schools and colleges now actively incorporate African American history into their programs, ensuring that students gain a comprehensive understanding of the nation’s diverse heritage. Government initiatives, such as the National African American History Month theme designated annually, also contribute to shaping the narrative and highlighting specific aspects of black history.

Black History Month stands as a testament to the progress made in acknowledging the significant contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. From its modest beginnings as Negro History Week to its recognition by the U.S. government, this celebration has become a cornerstone in fostering awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the diverse and invaluable impact of the black community. As we honor Black History Month each February, we continue to embrace the collective journey towards equality, justice, and a more inclusive future.

Cited Sources:

Black History Month: A Commemorative Observances Legal Research Guide https://guides.loc.gov/black-history-month-legal-resources/history-and-overview#:~:text=In%201975%2C%20President%20Ford%20issued,week%2Dlong%20observance%20to%20Black

Black History Month https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

About Black History Month https://asalh.org/about-us/about-black-history-month/

African American History Month https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/annual-observances/african-american-history-month

February is Black History Month https://www.blackhistorymonth.gov/

What you need to know about the origins of Black History Month https://apnews.com/article/black-history-month-things-to-know

The Impact of Social Connection on Health

In today’s age of digital connectivity, where virtual communication thrives, an unexpected and concerning trend has emerged – the rise of social isolation and loneliness. Beyond the emotional toll, extensive studies spanning several decades have uncovered a profound impact on public health, highlighting the crucial role that social connections play in our overall well-being.

The Link Between Social Connection and Mortality

A wealth of evidence consistently demonstrates a clear link between social connection and mortality. Individuals with strong social ties tend to live longer, while social deficits, including isolation and loneliness, are associated with a higher risk of premature death. Recent estimates even suggest that the odds of survival increase by an impressive 50% with robust social connections, surpassing the impact of various well-known risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity.

Impact on Cardiovascular Health

The impact of social connection on physical health is particularly evident in the realm of cardiovascular diseases. Studies reveal that social isolation and loneliness significantly elevate the risk of heart disease and stroke. Poor social relationships are associated with a 29% increase in the risk of heart disease and a 32% increase in the risk of stroke. Recognizing these effects, the American Heart Association now acknowledges social isolation and loneliness as underrecognized determinants of cardiovascular health.

Heart failure patients reporting high levels of loneliness face an array of increased health risks, including higher rates of hospitalization, emergency department visits, and outpatient visits. Additionally, poor social connection is linked to a 55% greater risk of hospital readmission for heart failure patients, emphasizing the intricate link between social well-being and physical health.

Connection to Hypertension and Diabetes

Social support emerges as a critical factor in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, with greater support associated with a remarkable 36% lower risk of hypertension. This positive influence extends even to high-risk populations like Black Americans. Moreover, evidence suggests that social connection positively influences diabetes management, impacting self-care behaviors and overall health outcomes.

Infectious Diseases and Cognitive Function

Socially connected individuals exhibit stronger immune responses, providing a shield against infectious diseases. Loneliness and poor social support, on the other hand, have been linked to increased severity of illnesses caused by viruses like the common cold and flu. Additionally, chronic loneliness and social isolation are associated with accelerated cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia in older adults.

Depression and Anxiety

Social isolation and loneliness contribute significantly to the development and worsening of depression and anxiety. Individuals who frequently feel lonely face more than double the odds of developing depression. However, social connection serves as a protective factor, reducing the risk of depression even among those with a higher probability of developing the condition due to adverse life experiences.

In conclusion, the evidence presented underscores the critical role of social connection in individual health across various dimensions. As society grapples with an epidemic of loneliness and isolation, recognizing the profound impact of social connections on health becomes paramount. Investing in social infrastructure, fostering relationships, and prioritizing community engagement emerge as essential components of a comprehensive public health response. In building a healthier and more connected future, the power of human connection cannot be overstated.

Cited Sources:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-social-connection-advisory.pdf

* In some instances this document is used as the primary source and in some instances this document is used as a secondary source from which information has been provided.

Image Source:

Recognizing Social Isolation and Loneliness in Yourself and Those Around You

In a world that has become increasingly interconnected digitally, rising social isolation and loneliness has become a pressing concern. As discussed in our last article on the topic of social isolation and loneliness, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th and 21st Surgeon General of the United States, has been a vocal advocate for addressing these issues, emphasizing the profound impact they have on individual and societal health. As we navigate the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of identifying symptoms of social isolation and loneliness in ourselves and those around us has never been more critical.

Dr. Murthy’s insights reveal a stark reality – loneliness is not just a fleeting emotion but a public health concern with far-reaching consequences. Loneliness is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. Its effects are comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day and surpass those linked to obesity and physical inactivity. The consequences of a society lacking social connection are evident in diminished performance, productivity, and engagement in schools, workplaces, and civic organizations.

Glossary of Terms:

To comprehend the intricacies of social connection, it’s essential to be familiar with key terms such as belonging, collective efficacy, empathy, social capital, and social cohesion. These concepts form the foundation for understanding the dimensions of human connection and the potential risks associated with its absence. All terms were taken directly from the Department of Health and Human Services’ report on Social Isolation and Loneliness.

Belonging: A fundamental human need—the feeling of deep connection with social groups, physical places, and individual and collective experiences.

Collective Efficacy: The willingness of community members to act on behalf of the common good of the group or community. 

Empathy: The capability to understand and feel the emotional states of others, resulting in compassionate behavior.

Loneliness: A subjective distressing experience that results from perceived isolation or inadequate meaningful connections, where inadequate refers to the discrepancy or unmet need between an individual’s preferred and actual experience.

Social Isolation: Objectively having few social relationships, social roles, group memberships, and infrequent social interaction.

Social Capital: The resources to which individuals and groups have access through their social connections. The term social capital is often used as an umbrella for both social support and social cohesion.

Social Cohesion: The sense of solidarity within groups, marked by strong social connections and high levels of social participation, that generates trust, norms of reciprocity, and a sense of belonging.

*note: for a more detailed glossary of key terms please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services’ report on Social Isolation and Loneliness linked in the cited sources

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Trends and Indicators:

Trends in community involvement, changes in social networks, and participation over time offer valuable insights into the state of social connection. Dr. Murthy’s advisory highlights the decline in social participation, particularly among young people, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in exacerbating these trends.

The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a magnifying glass on the issue of social isolation. It disrupted lives, postponed celebrations, and shifted education online, leaving many feeling lonely and isolated. Frontline workers, parents, and those at higher risk faced unique challenges, emphasizing the diverse impact of isolation.

Identifying Symptoms of Loneliness and Social Isolation:

1. Emotional Distress:

  • Anxiety and Stress: Persistent feelings of anxiety and stress, especially in social situations.
  • Depression: Prolonged periods of low mood, loss of interest in activities, and feelings of hopelessness.

2. Disruption in Daily Life:

  • Altered Routines: Sudden changes in daily habits, withdrawal from regular activities.
  • Decline in Productivity: Reduced engagement and performance at work or school.

3. Impact on Relationships:

  • Family Dynamics: Changes in familial connections, feeling distant or closer to family members.
  • Social Withdrawal: Avoidance of social interactions, including online communication.

4. Physical Health Changes:

  • Sleep Disturbances: Disrupted sleep patterns or chronic insomnia.
  • Weight Fluctuations: Unexplained weight loss or gain.

Support and Intervention:

Recognizing symptoms is the first step toward addressing social isolation and loneliness. Individuals experiencing these signs should consider reaching out to friends, family, or mental health professionals for support. Engaging in activities that foster social connections, whether through volunteering, joining clubs, or participating in community events, can be instrumental in breaking the cycle of isolation. In the next article we will discuss methods to support yourself and those around you.

Building a Connected Future:

As we emerge from the pandemic era, the lessons learned provide an opportunity to rebuild social connections intentionally. Prioritizing social infrastructure, engaging in community activities, and fostering relationships can contribute to a healthier and more connected society. At Sabre88, and more specifically within Sabre88, Discover65+, we are dedicated to sharing the growing concern of Social Isolation and Loneliness, specifically as it relates to the United State’s growing population of older adults.

In the words of Dr. Murthy, “Our future depends on what we do today.” Identifying and addressing symptoms of social isolation and loneliness is not just a personal responsibility but a collective endeavor to build a society where everyone feels seen, heard, and connected.

Cited Sources:

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-social-connection-advisory.pdf

* In some instances this document is used as the primary source and in some instances this document is used as a secondary source from which information has been provided.

Image Source:

https://www.cdc.gov/emotional-wellbeing/social-connectedness/loneliness.htm

About the 21st Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and his Mission to Combat Social Isolation and Loneliness

In 2014, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy assumed the role of the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, at this time he was unaware of the profound impact loneliness and social isolation could have on public health. However, a transformative listening tour across the nation revealed a stark reality: a significant portion of Americans felt isolated, invisible, and insignificant. This revelation led Dr. Murthy to redefine his approach to public health, recognizing the urgent need to address the epidemic of loneliness. Following his time as Surgeon General, Murthy co-chaired President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board from November 2020 to January 2021, alongside former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David A. Kessler and Yale public health professor Marcella Nunez-Smith. On December 7, President Biden announced Murthy would return to the role of U.S. surgeon general. In 2021 Murthy was re-appointed by the Senate and became the 21st Surgeon General. This time with his accumulated knowledge on loneliness and social isolation he was ready to make addressing it a priority.

The Scale of Loneliness:

Dr. Murthy’s observations were substantiated by scientific literature, indicating that approximately one in two adults in America reported experiencing loneliness even before the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the issue. Loneliness, far from just a negative emotion, is linked to severe health risks such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The impact on mortality is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even exceeds the risks associated with obesity and physical inactivity.

A Call to Action:

Realizing the societal and individual consequences of social disconnection, Dr. Murthy issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory, drawing attention to the urgent need for a collective response. He highlighted the necessity of prioritizing social connection in the same way as addressing tobacco use, obesity, and the addiction crisis. The advisory serves as a blueprint for building connected lives and a more united society.

Building a Movement:

Dr. Murthy’s call to action extends beyond individuals to encompass a diverse array of stakeholders, including families, schools, workplaces, healthcare and public health systems, technology companies, governments, faith organizations, and communities. The goal is to destigmatize loneliness and reshape cultural and policy responses to foster healthy relationships.

Individual Empowerment:

The advisory emphasizes the role of individuals in addressing loneliness. Dr. Murthy encourages everyone to take simple yet powerful steps in their lives, such as answering a friend’s phone call, sharing a meal, listening without distractions, performing acts of service, and expressing oneself authentically. These actions, he believes, are the keys to unlocking the healing power of human connection.

A Whole-of-Society Approach:

The Surgeon General’s Advisory is not just a public statement but a comprehensive guide for a national strategy. It explores the cultural, community, and societal dynamics that drive connection or disconnection. Recommendations extend to governments, healthcare systems, insurers, public health departments, research institutions, philanthropy, schools, workplaces, community-based organizations, technology companies, and the media.

Informed Decision-Making:

The advisory is grounded in decades of interdisciplinary research, drawing upon sociology, psychology, neuroscience, political science, economics, and public health. Dr. Murthy consulted with more than 50 experts across various sectors, incorporating their insights into a document that reflects a thorough review of scientific literature and aligns with recommendations from esteemed organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association, and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Vivek Murthy’s advocacy against loneliness and social isolation marks a pivotal moment in public health discourse. His Surgeon General’s Advisory serves as a rallying cry for a united effort to mend the social fabric of the nation. By recognizing the healing effects of social connection and implementing the recommended strategies, individuals and communities can contribute to building a healthier, happier, and more resilient society. The responsibility lies with each of us, as our actions today shape the future of our collective well-being.

Cited Sources:

https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/priorities/connection/index.html
https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/priorities/index.html#:~:text=Vivek%20Murthy%2C%2021st%20U.S.%20Surgeon,on%20about%20our%20current%20priorities.&text=View%20more%20information%20about%20the,Surgeon%20General%20on%20the%20homepage.
https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-social-connection-advisory.pdf

Saenz, Arlette; Zeleny, Jeff; Sullivan, Kate (December 7, 2020). “Biden nominates Dr. Vivek Murthy to reprise role as US surgeon general”. CNN. Retrieved March 24, 2021.

“Biden-Harris Transition Announces COVID-19 Advisory Board”. President-Elect Joe Biden. November 9, 2020. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Strategies for Success

As the calendar turns the page to a new year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past and contemplating ways to make the upcoming year even better. At Sabre88 we are constantly reflecting on the past to improve our workflow. With the upcoming year it is time to set New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are a popular tradition, representing a fresh start and an opportunity for personal growth. However, the key lies not just in setting resolutions but in creating a plan that ensures success. Here are 10 steps to make your New Year’s resolution stick. 

1. Reflect on the Past: Before diving into choosing your new resolutions, take a moment to reflect on 2023r. Acknowledge your achievements and identify areas you want to improve. Reflecting on your experiences can provide valuable insights that guide your goals for 2024.

2. Specific and Realistic Goal-setting: Set clear, specific, and achievable goals. Instead of vague resolutions, define concrete objectives that are realistic and measurable. For example, rather than saying “exercise more,” set a goal like “exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.”

3. Prioritize Your Goals: It’s tempting to create a long list of resolutions, but it’s essential to prioritize. Identify the most significant goals that align with your values and long-term aspirations. Focusing on a few key priorities increases the likelihood of success.

4. Break It Down: Large goals can be overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Create a step-by-step plan that allows you to make progress incrementally. Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated.

5. Set a Timeline: Establish a realistic timeline for achieving your goals. It can be a monthly, quarterly, or yearly time frame, a schedule provides structure and helps you stay accountable. It is important to regularly review and adjust your timeline as needed.

6. Share Your Resolutions: Share your goals with friends, family, or a supportive community. Verbalizing your intentions makes them more real, and the encouragement from others can provide the motivation needed to stay on track.

7. Visualize Success: Visualize a mental image of yourself achieving your goals. Visualization is a powerful tool to reinforce your commitment and overcome challenges. Imagine the positive impact your success will have on you and those around you.

8. Be Flexible: The future is unpredictable, and circumstances may change. Be flexible and open to adjusting your goals if necessary. The ability to adapt ensures continued progress.

9. Track Your Progress: Keep a record of your achievements and setbacks. Regularly assess your progress, and use this information to refine your approach. Tracking your journey provides a sense of accomplishment and helps you stay accountable.

10. Celebrate Milestones: Celebrate your successes along the way. Whether it’s a small milestone or a significant achievement, take time to acknowledge your efforts. Rewarding yourself will reinforce positive behavior and motivate you to continue pursuing your resolution.

As you embark on the journey of setting and achieving New Year’s resolutions, remember that success is not only about the destination but also about the process. By incorporating these strategies into your goal-setting approach, you’ll increase your chances of turning your resolutions into lasting positive habits. At Sabre88 we are focused on creating systems of success to support our goals. Here’s to a year of growth, achievement, and realizing your fullest potential.

What is the National Institute on Aging?

Almost 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. The famed generation, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, is causing something of a stir as they reach retirement age in droves. The Census Bureau says that in 2020, the U.S. population over the age of 65 was about 56 million (nearly 17% of the total population); by 2031, the U.S. population over the age of 65 will number an estimated 75 million, almost double what it was just in 2008. In the United States, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) stands at the forefront of research and initiatives aimed at understanding and addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with an aging society. So what is the NIA, and what is its mission, key research areas, and the impact it has on promoting healthy aging.

Mission and Purpose:

The National Institute on Aging, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks to study the nature of aging and the aging process, as well as diseases and problems linked with aging, in order to increase the number of healthy, active years of life.

Congress authorized the establishment of the NIA in 1974 to offer leadership in aging research, training, health information distribution, and other activities affecting the elderly. Following changes to this Act, the NIA was designated as the major Federal agency for Alzheimer’s disease research.

The Institute’s mission is to: ‘Support and conduct genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research on aging. Foster the development of research and clinician scientists in aging. Provide research resources. And, disseminate information about aging and advances in research to the public, health care professionals, and the scientific community, among a variety of audiences.’

Key Research Areas:

1. Biological Aging:

   The NIA conducts extensive research into the biological processes associated with aging. This includes investigating cellular and molecular changes, genetics, and the role of the immune system in aging. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging is crucial for developing interventions that can promote healthier aging.

2. Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Disease:

   The NIA supports research aimed at unraveling the complexities of brain aging, identifying risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases, and developing interventions to prevent or treat cognitive decline. Cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, is a significant concern for older adults.

3. Behavioral and Social Research:

   The NIA recognizes that aging is a multidimensional process influenced by both biological and psychosocial factors. Research in this area explores the impact of lifestyle, socio-economic status, and social relationships on aging outcomes. This holistic approach is essential for developing strategies to enhance the quality of life for older individuals.

4. Health Disparities in Aging:

   The NIA is committed to addressing health disparities in aging, recognizing that certain populations may face unique challenges related to healthcare access, social determinants, and cultural factors. Research in this area aims to identify and eliminate barriers to equitable health outcomes for older adults.

Impact on Healthy Aging:

The NIA’s research initiatives have made strides for promoting healthy aging and improving the quality of life for older Americans. By fostering a comprehensive understanding of aging processes and age-related diseases, the NIA contributes to the development of interventions and strategies that empower individuals to age successfully.

In addition to its research, the NIA provides valuable resources, and grants for the public, healthcare professionals, and researchers. These resources include information on healthy aging, caregiver support, and educational materials that contribute to a greater awareness of aging-related issues.

As the United States and the world continue to grapple with the challenges and opportunities presented by an aging population, the National Institute on Aging remains a beacon of knowledge and innovation. The NIA plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare and ensuring that older adults can age with dignity, health, and resilience.

Cited Sources: 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/about/mission
https://www.nia.nih.gov/about/nia-and-national-plan-address-alzheimers-disease
https://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2022-05/nia-research-comes-of-age.pdf