We must take action: The launch of P4A Spark

4.20.2017
Commentary
Crowd of people on a sunny street

Despite the billions of dollars spent each year on health care in this country, too many Americans are falling behind on key indicators of health and well-being. Yet, health care is just one piece of the puzzle. In communities across the country, people are struggling to access stable employment, safe neighborhoods, reliable transportation, and high-quality education. A growing body of evidence on these broader determinants of health makes it clear that these things matter (a lot) to our health and well-being.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature research programs are united in their mission to identify the root causes of inequitable health outcomes in America, and build the evidence for solutions that engage multiple sectors and disciplines. For Policies for Action, that means studying the mechanisms through which policies, laws, and other system and community levers shape health and well-being.

Today, we’re launching our blog P4A Spark to foster wide-ranging conversations, highlight new and innovative research, and translate our growing body of evidence in ways advocates, policymakers, local leaders, researchers and other stakeholders in our community of practice can act on. We hope that this blog informs, inspires, and helps people in their work to create a Culture of Health.

“As researchers, we know that it is not enough to do the research,” said Kerry Anne McGeary, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We must learn to translate our findings for policymakers who are making fundamental decisions that impact our nation’s health.”

Now, more than ever, researchers must be empowered to think critically and creatively about actionable evidence. And, amid a fluid policy environment, we need to be prepared to answer the tough questions about the impact, scalability, and sustainability of the policies and programs we study. Through the research we fund, the scholars we unite, and the conversations we foster, P4A is helping to build a Culture of Health.

Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest posts from P4A Spark. In the meantime, do you have an idea or question you want to share with the P4A community? Get in touch with us!

Photo by Pavel Vakhrushev/Shutterstock

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