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Home > Press > Highlights > Next Steps for Health Reform

Next Steps for Health Reform

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Prevention Institute, Policylink, Trust for America's Health and Public Health Institute's recommendations for Prevention and Wellness Fund

Prevention Institute, Policylink, Trust for America's Health and Public Health Institute sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to recommend next steps for the landmark Prevention and Wellness Fund, placing a high priority on supporting community-based prevention efforts and directing resources to communities most in need.

"Quality prevention," says the letter, "which focuses on broad-based policy, systems, organizational and environmental changes, is a perfect complement to the improvements in access to quality health care in the other titles of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Therefore, we urge you to maximize the available dollars to support public health and community infrastructure to implement community-focused prevention efforts."

Read the full letter here.

Convergence Partnership releases recommendations for Prevention and Public Health Fund

The Convergence Partnership released a letter last week, with recommendations to HHS Secretary Sebelius for the use of the Prevention and Public Health Funds in the health care reform package. The Convergence Partnership includes representatives from The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serve as critical technical advisors on the committee. PolicyLink, a national research and action institute devoted to advancing economic and social equity, serves as program directors for the partnership. Prevention Institute, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving community health and equity through effective primary prevention, provides policy research and analysis along with strategic support.

The letter says,

"This one relatively small part of health care reform offers a significant opportunity to improve health, improve health equity, save money, and reduce the demands on our health care system. By focusing the Fund on community prevention, and on developing the capacity necessary to advance such efforts, we believe the Fund can help optimize the health of everyone by creating healthier, safer and more resilient communities."

Recommendations include:

  • Concentrate on community strategies with a focus on broad-scale change that will have measurable impact on population health.
  • Target resources to communities with the greatest gaps in health status and the greatest disease burden.
  • Ensure participation of diverse community groups and stakeholders representing various sectors by funding community-led efforts as well as by funding efforts in which community leaders and their organizations are in partnership with the public health system.
  • Lay the groundwork for the National Prevention Strategy that will be developed as the Fund is implemented.

Read the full recommendations here.


Prevention Institute and Policy Link letter to Secretary Sebelius

Prevention Institute and Policylink made similar recommendations to Secretary Sebelius earlier in May. Our joint letter says,

"Based on our experience working with community organizations, local and state governments, and with foundations engaged in initiatives that focus on community prevention, we have seen the benefits of investments in underserved communities for improving health and safety outcomes. The following are critical areas of consideration as decisions are made regarding the allocation of funding:

  • Invest in community prevention as a core component of transforming the health system.
  • Prioritize policy and environmental change efforts in underserved communities.
  • Invest in underserved communities, providing extra support and consultation as needed to achieve equitable health and safety outcomes.
  • Invest in ARRA applications that remain unfunded but are poised for action, particularly those that include leadership for community organizations.
  • Foster innovation in the field in addition to elevating and replicating proven models of success.
  • Develop and enhance leadership and capacity of community-based organizations, community leaders, and government officials to design and implement community prevention strategies and engage in collaborations across fields and sectors.

Read the full letter here.