The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funds a wide array of programs which are working to help build a national Culture of Health.
Our health and well-being can be greatly influenced by complex social factors such as where we live, and the strength of our families and communities. But despite knowing this, positive change is not occurring at a promising pace. To accelerate progress, the RWJF has proposed a vision for a national Culture of Health enabling all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives. It is based on 10 underlying principles:
CULTURE OF HELATH: UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES
- Good health flourishes across geographic, demographic, and social sectors.
- Attaining the best health possible is valued by our entire society.
- Individuals and families have the means and the opportunity to make choices.
- Business, government, individuals, and organizations work together to build healthy communities.
- No one is excluded.
- Everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.
- Health care is efficient and equitable.
- The economy is less burdened by excessive and unwarranted health care spending.
- Keeping everyone as healthy as possible guides public and private decision-making.
- Americans understand that we are all in this together.
CULTURE OF HEALTH ACTION FRAMEWORK
In collaboration with the RAND Corporation and with far-reaching expert input, we have developed a Culture of Health Action Framework which sets a national agenda to improve health, well-being, and equity. It contains three core elements:
- Action Areas: a series of high-level objectives which, when addressed together, can lead to improved population health, well-being and equity;
- Drivers: connected with the Action Areas, specific types of activities or systemic factors that are critical to achieving better health at the national and local level; and,
- Measures: data points representing an array of social, economic and policy measures that align with the overall Culture of Health vision, and can support the tracking of progress over time.
ENGAGING BUSINESSES FOR HEALTH
RWJF and the business community understand that businesses are not isolated from the communities and markets in which they operate. In fact, businesses contribute to their communities’ greater well-being through their policies, resources, and incentives, while the overall health of communities can contribute to a business’s viability, performance, and priorities. Recognizing the importance of investing in health beyond corporate walls, businesses and other collaborators are seeking new ways to invest in community health and well-being, but they need evidence on what works, under what circumstances, and how to target their investments. For instance, how does a business’ investment in the health of a community contribute to its economic success, brand, and reputation? How can businesses drive consumer demand for new products and services that promote health? These questions must be answered in order to connect the innovation and drive of American businesses and entrepreneurs to the needs and health of the communities that support them.
As a part of RWJF’s vision to build a Culture of Health in America, they realize that health is inextricably tied to where we live, learn, work and play. Achieving a Culture of Health requires unprecedented collaboration from communities, policymakers, businesses and more. With input from partners and colleagues across the country, RWJF developed a Culture of Health Action Framework to catalyze a national movement toward improved health, well-being, and equity. The Framework is intended to broaden the discussion of what influences health, and help kick start and chart progress. Improving the health of a community should be everyone’s business, and employers play a key role in promoting a healthy population and building these healthy communities. This solicitation seeks to build the evidence base for how private-sector investment can help build a Culture of Health. Funded studies are expected to include rigorous empirical research that will inform the business case for promoting greater well-being and health equity for all.