Prevention and Equity First: Now More Than Ever, Support Prevention
The Affordable Care Act made an unprecedented investment in health equity and prevention, and the resolution of the fiscal cliff showdown ensured the continuation of that effort—for the moment. We must take advantage of the historic opportunity that now exists to transform and improve the health of communities across the country, says the Convergence Partnership—a collaboration of foundations and healthcare organizations supporting new models of health and community transformation.
In Prevention and Equity First, a statement released last week, the Partnership outlined the importance of maintaining the Prevention and Public Health Fund and other federal funding aimed at reversing inequities to achieve healthy, safe and thriving communities—and a prosperous nation. Prevention Institute provides research, analysis and strategic support to the Convergence Partnership—and we are pleased to help bring attention to the Partnership’s statement. Here’s an excerpt:
There has never been a better time to continue national investments in community prevention efforts, particularly in communities plagued by health inequities…Across the country hundreds of thousands of people in disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities are already benefitting from targeted community-prevention initiatives that are bringing access to healthy food, safe environments for physical activity, and clean air. But our work is not done. If we are to achieve a healthy, thriving nation and economy, we can no longer rely predominantly on a one-by-one individual treatment approach. Instead we must expand our national focus beyond individuals to include strategies and efforts that make communities healthy and safe.
The Partnership statement should remind us all about the importance of continued vigilance. In the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Connecticut, we must redouble our efforts to prevent violence and to foster healthy, equitable communities. The fiscal cliff deal delayed for just two months the “sequester”—across-the-board spending cuts to a huge swath of federal programs, including those in public health and prevention. Negotiations to avert the sequester could also threaten public health funding. Over the next two months, Prevention Institute will be working with our partners and allies across the country—including many of you—to make this important case: Money that has the potential to reduce healthcare costs by preventing illness and disease before it occurs must be maintained, not diminished. We invite you to join us in calling for a renewed focus on national investments that support health, equity, and safety as national priorities by sharing the Convergence Partnership statement widely with your networks and stakeholders.