WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, on today's release of new recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Commission to Build a Healthier America.
"TFAH fully supports the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America's recommendations to help all Americans live healthier lives by investing in early childhood development, creating healthy communities and engaging a range of partners beyond the healthcare system.
In 2009, the Commission issued a clarion call to look beyond the traditional healthcare system, which focuses on treating people after they are already sick, to address the range of factors that influence health outside the doctor's office and to keep Americans healthier in the first place.
Today's recommendations reflect the best advice from leading experts in the field for how to most effectively promote a culture of health in the United States, including by:
- Prioritizing investments in early childhood and getting kids off to a healthy start in life;
- Rethinking our healthcare system and incentives to improve well care, prevention and support for health as part of our daily lives; and
- Working across sectors to create healthier communities and making healthier choices easier choices in our workplaces, neighborhoods and schools.
Translating these recommendations into reality should be facilitated by full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA created a National Prevention and Health Promotion Council, comprised of 20 federal agencies and offices, which developed a National Prevention Strategy (NPS), a document that offers a blueprint for the kind of cross-sector partnerships – both inside and outside government – that can create a culture of health in America. Indeed, the Commission's recommendations regarding child development and healthy communities offer specific direction to the Council that could help bring the vision of the NPS to life.
Also, innovations in the healthcare delivery system, especially those supported through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), are driving greater attention to population health and creating financial incentives for the health system to achieve the Commission's recommendation to improve preventive care and services. CMMI should be encouraged to press forward by testing these innovations and bringing them to scale.
Everyone wins when we focus on improving health rather than treating people after they get sick. Healthcare costs go down, our neighborhoods are healthier and provide more economic opportunity and people live longer, healthier and happier lives.
The Commission's recommendations along with full ACA implementation will get us closer to achieving a culture of health."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. For more information, visit www.healthyamericans.org.
SOURCE Trust for America's Health