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Prevention Institute

Health Reform Rapid Response: December 19, 2013

Thanks for a Great Year

As 2013 draws to a close, the conversation on health reform and the Affordable Care Act -- in the news and on the Hill -- remains stuck squarely on health insurance and state exchanges. The daily, critical work of community prevention continues to fly under the radar. But prevention remains a critical component of a more just and equitable health system, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the nation’s largest source of dedicated prevention funding, is still vulnerable to potential cuts as we move into the New Year.

Luckily, thanks to you, our Health Reform Rapid Response Network is stronger than ever. This past year, we’ve banded together to successfully make the case for prevention time and time again. Here are a just a few of our successes. Together, we’ve...

  • conducted our first ever Health Reform Rapid Response Network survey, providing useful insight into the kinds of tools and resources that are most helpful to you in advancing support for community prevention.
  • wrote countless comments on news stories, letters to the editor and op-ed submissions.
  • sent over 1,100 messages to Congress in support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Thank you for telling your community prevention stories this year. Yes, data matters -- but speaking from the heart and sharing stories of the positive changes that community prevention is making on the ground -- does the most to shore up prevention champions, win over skeptics and keep the Prevention and Public Health Fund going strong.

Heading into the New Year, one of our prevention resolutions is to keep growing and improving our Health Reform Rapid Response Network, but we need your help. In 2014, we promise to send you the latest updates on prevention in health reform, including media analyses, tools and resources, and new studies to help you make the case. We hope you’ll make a prevention resolution with us -- resolve to tell a friend about our Health Reform Rapid Response network, leave a comment on a news story in support of prevention, contact Congress, or even write a letter to the editor or Op-ed to your local paper about how prevention efforts are improving your community.

We hope that you’ll join us in making a prevention resolution -- and if you do, let us know which of these goals you want to accomplish in 2014 (our simple form makes it easy). We’ll use your responses to help guide our messages in the new year, and we’ll even check back in with you in the coming weeks to provide resources, tips and tools to help you make good on your prevention promises for 2014.

Prevention in the News
In case you missed it, here are some recent prevention news stories:

  • Big Ideas 2014: Creating a Culture of Health: Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in her contribution to LinkedIn’s “Big Idea’s Series” explores the concept of a “Culture of Health” -- and underscores why investments in the social determinants of health are so critical to reforming our country’s health system.
  • Profiles in Innovation: Prevention Institute’s Rob Waters interviewed health care providers and public health leaders who are pioneering new ways to address the underlying determinants of health.
  • To improve health, focus on prevention: An op-ed from Dave Remmert, director of the DeWitt-Piatt County Health Department, explains why we must improve community environments to shift health care costs, not just focus on treatment. He states: “Putting funding to work where it will yield the best gains will mean investing in prevention campaigns rather than treatment campaigns.”
  • The Pursuit of Health: Donald Schwarz, deputy mayor for health and opportunity, and Philadelphia health commissioner, makes the case for the Prevention and Public Health Fund and decries the “whittling away at the Fund by Congress.” He writes: “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates a structure not only to improve access, but it also strives to create a way to improve health as a way to reduce the costs of healthcare in America.”
  • Missed opportunities for prevention, bold opportunities for change: Liz Borkowski, author of The Pump Handle blog, tracks the “incredible shrinking Prevention and Public Health Fund,” and argues that draining money from population-wide health improvement efforts won’t save money in the long run.

Make A Prevention Resolution for the New Year

With 2014 right around the corner, here at Prevention Institute, we're reflecting on the past year and are so grateful for you -- our dedicated Health Reform Rapid Response Network. Thanks again for your time and effort in making the case for community prevention to the media, colleagues and our legislators.

We're making our prevention resolutions for the future -- and we hope you'll join us! Please use our simple survey to let us know your prevention resolutions for 2014. We'll use your answers to guide our future Rapid Responses, and provide you with tools and resources to keep you on track.

Recent Prevention Studies Help Make the Case

Here are two studies that can help you make the case for prevention:

- Saving Lives and Money: This new brief from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation highlights recent reports that demonstrate how strategic investments in prevention will save money and lives.

- Survey from Transform Wisconsin finds widespread support for prevention initiatives that improve health in the places where we live, work, learn and play.

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