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Archive for the 'Social Determinants of Health' Category




People Post: Foundation Board and Staff News; Job Openings


September 18th, 2014

Leah McCall Devlin has been elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) board of trustees. Now a professor in the department of health policy and management at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, she also is a consultant to RTI International, a research institute. Devlin was North Carolina’s state […]

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Cigna Foundation and Nonprofit Aim to Revitalize Distressed Neighborhood: Community Development at Work


September 15th, 2014

The story begins with the failure of the economic engine—the relocation of a factory, perhaps, or the closure of a mine. Soon, joblessness, violence, and the deterioration of housing conditions follow. The impact on individual health levels can be devastating as rates of mental illness and substance abuse increase and more people do not manage […]

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Creating Partnerships to Build a Culture of Health


September 11th, 2014

For most of my career, I’ve worked on health care issues that were deeply entwined in policy discussions of the day. At the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Physician Payment Review Commission, I had a hand in the resource-based relative value fee schedule and the much-debated sustainable growth rate system. At the Robert Wood […]

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Report from the Colorado Health Symposium: “Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice”


August 6th, 2014

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the Colorado Health Foundation’s 2014 Colorado Health Symposium, which had the title Health Transformed: The Power of Engagement. The lively event—the thirty-third in an annual program series—drew 500 public health professionals, physicians, policy makers, and others from around the state and the country to Keystone, […]

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The RWJF’s Culture of Health Prize Awarded to Six Localities


July 17th, 2014

This post originally appeared on our sister blog, Health Affairs Blog, on June 25. Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded its 2014 Culture of Health Prize to six communities. These communities– Brownsville, Texas; Buncombe County, North Carolina; Durham County, North Carolina; Spokane County, Washington; Taos Pueblo, New Mexico; and Williamson, West Virginia–were selected for the work they have done to place a […]

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Health Policy Fellows Program in a Southern State Helps to Inform Legislators


July 16th, 2014

The development of a nonpartisan program to help elected officials increase knowledge and dialogue around health, health care, and health policy issues has been well received in South Carolina. To take on the mammoth task of making policy decisions about state laws, regulations, budgets, etc., legislators must study a wide range of issues such as […]

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Toxic Stress in Children and the Importance of Listening Between the Lines to What Kids Say


April 29th, 2014

A report from the Grantmakers In Health (GIH) annual meeting, which was held in March in Atlanta. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, in San Francisco, was among the plenary speakers at this year’s GIH meeting. Wendy Wolf, president of the Maine Health Access Foundation, a GIH board member, […]

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Education Leads to Better Health Outcomes, Says Policy Brief from Virginia Commonwealth University and the RWJF


April 3rd, 2014

In January, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the policy brief, “Education: It Matters More to Health than Ever Before,” along with an animated video on the importance of investing in education as a means to improving long-term health outcomes. Americans with less education […]

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A World of Darkness: What If Thomas Edison Had to Write Grant Proposals to Invent the Light Bulb?


February 18th, 2014

Editors’ Notes:  This is the first in an occasional series of posts published in partnership with Grantmakers in Health (GIH). Visit its website for other updates about the field of health philanthropy. This post by Jeffrey Brenner is also available on the GIH website. As Thomas Edison began to write his grant report he cringed. Despite trying over 2,000 different materials […]

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The Rippel Foundation and the RWJF Push Frontiers for Financing and Sustaining Improvements in Health


February 13th, 2014

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced that accountable care organizations (ACOs) saved Medicare nearly $400 million by more effectively coordinating care, I wondered where the money will go. How will we capture those savings and re-invest them to continue us on a path to better health and better care that is […]

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Zip Code Overrides DNA Code When It Comes to a Healthy Community


January 30th, 2014

When I see people walking, jogging, or biking—no matter where I happen to be, whether it’s at home or somewhere I’ve traveled—I feel the urge to go outside and join them. Feeling that desire and having the ability to act on it is the essence of what it means to have a healthy choice be […]

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GrantWatch Blog Most-Read List for 2013: Post on the Role of Government in Supporting Healthy Eating Habits Leads The Way


January 11th, 2014

Happy New Year! We compiled a list of the ten most-read posts during 2013, in case you missed any of them. Interestingly, the most-read post during 2013 was an “oldie-but-goodie” from August 2012 about a debate held at that year’s Colorado Health Symposium, sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation. GrantWatch Blog invited the foundation’s then-vice president of […]

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New Poverty and Philanthropy Report from the Urban Institute and JPB Foundation


January 8th, 2014

A new report, Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment, from the Urban Institute (funded by the JPB Foundation) looks at the history of US antipoverty policies, examines the concept of “deep poverty,” lists organizational approaches for addressing poverty in the United States, and provides foundations with recommended guidelines for […]

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Expanding the Health Care Workforce in the States; Clinics Partnering with the Community to Improve Diabetes Care


December 31st, 2013

Much of the work to improve access to high-quality care and reduce costs of care will occur in the states, according to the website of the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes, a Merck Foundation national program. So the alliance and the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted a webinar in November that discussed current state […]

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New IOM Discussion Paper on Population Health: From Research to Action


December 17th, 2013

From participants in the activities of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Roundtable on Population Health Improvement comes a discussion paper about how population health research can impact an “effective” movement for population health action. Funders of the roundtable include the Aetna, California HealthCare, Kresge, New York State Health, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations; the California […]

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Making New York the Healthiest State: A Population Health Summit


December 12th, 2013

In early December, the New York State Health Foundation and the New York State Department of Health cosponsored a summit focused on improving population health, with the title, “Making New York the Healthiest State: Achieving the Triple Aim.” We had hoped to convince a critical mass of health sector leaders to come together for a […]

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Foundation Initiative Uses Expanded View of Health: Including Its Social and Environmental Determinants


April 23rd, 2013

This post, with the orginal title of  “Expanding the Way We Look at Health,” was first published on the Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN) blog, Giving InSight, on April 1. (That post includes pictures, which are not shown here.) The author is executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, which exclusively dedicates […]

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Skillful Convening: A Powerful Tool for Health System Redesign


April 18th, 2013

The author is president and CEO of the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, a national health philanthropy located in Morristown, New Jersey. In 2007 the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation set out to understand why changes that we know need to take place in the health system don’t regularly happen and what can be done to remedy […]

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Addressing the Root Causes of Health Problems: Rebecca Onie of Health Leads


March 22nd, 2013

I recently returned from covering the Grantmakers In Health (GIH) annual meeting in San Francisco, where Rebecca Onie was among the keynote speakers. She was a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leader award winner and received a “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2009. Health Leads, a Boston-based […]

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Interview with the New Leader of Grantmakers In Health: What She Sees Ahead for Health Philanthropy


March 11th, 2013

This blog post, with the original title of “Checking In with Grantmakers In Health’s New President and CEO,” first appeared on Health and Environmental Funders Network blog, which is called Giving InSight, on February 11: http://blog.hefn.org/2013/02/11/checking-in-with-grantmakers-in-healths-new-president-and-ceo/  ____________________________ HEFN [Health and Environmental Funders] Director Kathy Sessions spoke with Faith Mitchell, Grantmakers In Health’s [GIH's] newly appointed President and […]

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