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Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute E-Alert: November 12th, 2015

PI Applauds RWJF’s Release of Culture of Health Action Framework and Measures

We count what matters. When it comes to equitable access to opportunities for health and wellness, what matters is measuring those determinants that shape health and safety, and drive health equity. By doing so, we can determine priorities and take necessary actions to keep all Americans healthy, lower the cost of healthcare, and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and achieve his or her full potential. 

Prevention Institute’s new paper, Measuring What Works to Achieve Health Equity: Metrics for the Determinants of Health, was commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to inform discussion around metrics for the Foundation and the nation. 
In launching its new Culture of Health website, RWJF has released a Culture of Health Action Framework, including a set of metrics and drivers for change. The Action Framework reflects the Foundation’s commitment to achieving a Culture of Health and health equity and represents a huge step forward for the nation. Prevention Institute is pleased that Measuring What Works to Achieve Health Equity informed the Foundation as it developed their new metrics.

Measuring What Works to Achieve Health Equity: Metrics for the Determinants of Health draws on Prevention Institute’s health equity framework, and identifies the determinants of health that must be improved to achieve health equity – including structural drivers, community determinants, and healthcare. Prevention Institute reviewed existing metrics, conducted interviews, and applied health equity principles and other considerations, to identify 35 recommended metrics for the determinants of health that could track progress toward achieving health equity.

Too often, we simply measure individual conditions and fail to count the elements at the community level that shape health. It’s not enough to measure blood sugar levels—we need to also look at walkability and parks and open spaces as key metrics with regards to diabetes. 

The recommended metrics include existing indicators, indexes, and composite measures as well as those that could be developed, and consider the need for effective framing that communicates clear direction and spurs action. Tracking the progress of these metrics will advance our core American values of fairness and justice – the moral imperative to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity for optimal health.

This opportunity to focus on metrics builds on PI’s work to identify key systems and levers that can fundamentally achieve health equity as an integral part of achieving a culture of health. Our Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) provides a framework for communities to develop a shared understanding of how factors in the physical/built, social-cultural and economic/educational environments—the community determinants of health—impact health, safety and equity, and helps communities move from understanding to assessment to action to promote health, safety and equity.
Our work on health equity metrics drew on learnings from previous work we did for The California Endowment, Good Health Counts, which presents an overview of the values and uses of indicators, indicator reports and report cards.
Download the full report here.

PI's Larry Cohen Discusses Head Injuries in 'The Nation's Health'

Quoted in a cover story in "The Nation's Health" on head injuries, PI's Larry Cohen speaks to the importance of proactive prevention when data identifies unsafe practices.   

A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity 

This guide helps public health practitioners advance health equity through community prevention strategies. It focuses on policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to improve the places where people live, learn, work, and play, and includes dozens of case studies that showcase great work by local health departments and coalitions. 

PI Training and Consultation Services

PI has extensive experience providing health equity training through multiple modalities, such as the Health Equity and Prevention Primer and the Health Equity Training Series, and has provided consultation to national, state, and local coalitions, agencies, and funders. For information on our training and technical assistance services, email us.  

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