More and more, Americans are realizing that health and well-being are significantly influenced by social, economic, and physical environment factors including access to well-paying jobs, quality of housing, and access to places to exercise and play and healthy food. The concept of considering the health outcomes of decisions that might not ordinarily be associated with health is referred to nationally as taking a “Health in All Policies” approach. According to the American Public Health Association, Health in All Policies is a “collaborative approach to improving the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a signature initiative to advance systematic strategies and policies that result in building a “culture of health” in communities across the United States. Within the intended outcome of improving population health, well-being and health equity, the RWJF “culture of health” initiative focuses on a four-part action framework:
- Making health a shared value;
- Building cross-sector collaborations;
- Creating healthier and more equitable communities; and
- Strengthening integration of health systems and services.
EAC has been involved in building a culture of health through several initiatives. Working in partnership with cross sector collaborations in the City of New Brunswick and Bound Brook and South Bound Brook, New Jersey, EAC helped to facilitate the development of “Blueprints for Action” that outline strategic priorities for systematically improving health and well-being. Additionally, EAC Associate Director Jeanne Herb, is one of 50 individuals chosen across the country to participate in the first cohort of RWJF’s three-year Culture of Health Leadership program.
Image Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation