The MOTION Coalition was organized to change social structures, policies and personal behaviors to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy living.

MOTION Coalition

Our Vision
Thriving children, thriving adults, thriving communities.

Our Mission
To accelerate organizational and community efforts that promote physical activity and healthy eating to optimize health and well-being.

Childhood obesity is not just a medical matter, but a community predicament. To make an impact in this epidemic, a whole family approach is needed.
The MOTION Coalition (the “Coalition”) is a unique collaboration of stakeholders representing health plans, schools and early childhood programs, organizations supporting nutrition and fitness, local government, health providers, health systems, universities and other nonprofits, among others.

The Coalition is comprised of more than 30 organizations across the region [hyperlink to “MOTION/Who We Are” list at bottom]. Co-chaired by Dr. Bill Dietz and Diane Valade (hyperlink to “MOTION/Who We Are”), the action-oriented Coalition works together to identify opportunities to advocate for improved nutritional programming, the creation of safe green spaces and the development of community resilience. The Coalition holds an Annual Summit to share findings and collaboratively identify community strategies.

Our Advocacy Agenda

Working in tandem with the Authority Health public affairs staff, the MOTION Coalition advocates for legislation and policies that favor active living and healthy eating. Some of those include:

10 Cents a Meal
When state funding for the 10 Cents a Meal program was threatened, the Coalition launched a sign-on letter advocating for maintaining the funding. When funds were vetoed, a “Paper Plate Campaign” activated Coalition members to decorate paper plates and send them to the governor to save the program. Coalition efforts proved beneficial when full funding was reestablished in February 2020.

MDOT I-94 Modernization Project
Coalition members learned more about the I-94 reconstruction plan and notable improvements that were added to contribute to enhanced community health through increased neighborhood connectivity, “Complete Streets” and greater recreational fitness via connecting trails. A letter was submitted on behalf of the Coalition supporting these improvements and advocating for the inclusion of “calming service drives” at the initiation of the plan rather than waiting until 2030.

Michigan Complete Streets Legislation
Active living requires safe spaces for walking, running and riding – oftentimes while sharing urban streets. The Complete Streets initiative provides guidance for the planning, design and construction of roadways or an interconnected network of transportation facilities being constructed or reconstructed and designated for a transportation purpose that promotes inclusion of multiple modes of transit.

City of Detroit Dog Bite Ordinance
The threat of attacks from wild dogs dissuades people from using some public spaces for exercising. The death of a young girl who was attacked by a loose dog prompted the Coalition to support efforts by Detroit City Council to pass “Emma’s Clause” to create tighter guidelines for securing neighborhood dogs.

Federal Farm Bill
The Coalition supports the cultivation of urban agriculture to promote nutrition and food security in Detroit. The Federal Farm Bill has traditionally promoted funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan. Most recently, it has established an Office of Urban Agriculture, designed to promote development of this sector of the agricultural industry. Both programs are integral to the nutrition goals of the MOTION Coalition.

If you would like more information about the Coalition or are interested in joining, please call Dr. Carolyn Custer at (313) 871-3751.

Who We Are

William Dietz

William Dietz, MD – Co-Chair, MOTION Coalition

William H. Dietz, MD, is the director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Previously, Dr. Dietz served as director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC). In that role, he was on the front lines of the fight against obesity – a health condition that affects one out of five children and one out of three adults in the United States.

In addition to his role as a public health leader at the CDC, Dr. Dietz has a portfolio that includes more than 200 published research papers in scientific journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Pediatrics, The Lancet and others. His work in the field of childhood obesity includes the first study to demonstrate a relationship between television viewing habits and obesity in young children.

Dr. Dietz is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and has served on many professional advisory boards, including the expert panel that published the Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, a landmark 1998 report that reclassified many “normal weight” Americans as “overweight.” In addition, he is the editor of five books, including “Clinical Obesity in Adults and Children” and “Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know.”

Prior to his appointment at the CDC, Dr. Dietz served as a professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of clinical nutrition at the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals. His awards include the John Stalker Award from the American School Food Service Association for his efforts to improve school lunches and the George Bray Founders Award from the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. In 2012, he received a Special Recognition Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Provisional Section on Obesity.

Diane Valade

Diane Valade – Co-Chair, MOTION Coalition

Diane Valade is a health care executive who manages health policy and legislative analysis at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Previously, she held the position of director of social mission at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. There she developed and implemented a statewide, multistakeholder, school-based physical activity and nutrition program that continues to this day.

As an executive with more than 35 years of experience in the health care industry, she brings a wealth of expertise to MOTION. Under her leadership, MOTION Coalition recently received its first financial award, a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, to expand its membership base to Southwest Detroit and impact areas where communities suffer adversely from factors that contribute toward obesity. With expertise in population health, Diane Valade is a visionary who sees how social factors impact the health of a community, including children.

MOTION Coalition Member Organizations