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Prevention Institute

January 15th, 2013 -- Convergence Partnership Statement

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.

$100 Million for Healthy Futures Fund 

Two foundations and an investment bank have established the $100 million Healthy Futures Fund to integrate health services and affordable housing in low-income communities. Kresge Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Morgan Stanley will build 500 housing units and eight new health centers to serve 75,000 people. The goal: Spur collaboration among healthcare providers and housing developers who don’t often work together even when they serve the same neighborhoods.

Insurance Co-ops Defunded

The fiscal cliff deal wasn’t a total victory. A program that had just begun to provide federal start-up loans to non-profit cooperative health insurers was halted after making loans to co-ops in 24 states. No new co-ops will receive loans; the 24 that had been approved will continue and will now become the testing grounds for a new model of health insurance—one aimed at improving healthcare access, not generating profits. Learn more.

Race, Equity and Health

In time for the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and Barack Obama's second inauguration, a Washington Monthly special issue examines the legacy of race and racism and the impact on health, wealth and well-being. 

Profiles in Prevention

See our profiles of four communities that have put federal prevention funds to work. 

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