BACKGROUND

On July 2, 2014 a meeting occurred between Mayor Tony Yarber and Timothy Quinn, MD at city hall. It was decided to create the Medical Task Force for a Healthier Jackson. Mayor Yarber felt that this Task Force could help make his vision of a better Jackson, a reality. While cardiovascular disease mortality is declining, it remains our nation’s leading cause of death, and Mississippians are dying of coronary heart disease and stroke at even greater rates than the nation. Meanwhile, incidence of obesity and diabetes is on the rise (American Heart Association (AHA), 2009b). 75% of diabetics’ die of heart or blood vessel disease, diabetes is currently the sixth leading cause of death in America, and obesity is deeply intertwined with both cardiovascular disease and diabetes (AHA, 2009b; Mayo Clinic Health Manager, 2009a).