Jessica Arana, a designer at RAND, volunteers with the Auntie Sewing Squad, a mask-making effort started by comedian Kristina Wong. Arana first donated to the effort but soon became an organizer focused on minority, immigrant, farmworker, and low-income communities.
Anita Chandra, vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being, focuses on issues of health, well-being, and equity. She is researching how to create a culture of health, how to address inequities in the U.S. health system, and disaster response and resilience, especially in the context of the pandemic.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health blog
Measuring health and the social and economic factors that influenced it before the pandemic helps us understand the kind of risks the United States faced previously. It can also inform how to move forward toward recovery.
The growing gap in the UK between the need for social care for older people and the provision of support arises not only from a crisis of funding, but also from a failure to learn from what is already being done well. Closing the gap might be achieved by learning from creative approaches already being tried and then implementing them.
Psychologists and biologists have known for years that prolonged stress is toxic to the human body. A better understanding of how stress builds in communities—and the burden it puts on them—can lead to more effective policies to address it.
RAND's new COVID-19 interventions impact tool uses epidemiological and economic models and continually refreshed data to estimate what could happen as restrictions are eased. The tool won't make the choices confronting state leaders less painful. But it can provide clear, evidence-based estimates of the health and economic trade-offs.
Access to food could be critical to getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local leaders and policymakers may find themselves having to devote new resources to make sure all citizens have access to food and to protect those on the front lines.
Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing communities of faith. Congregations play critical roles in providing social services within communities. How can their services, such as food assistance, be delivered safely?
The coronavirus has required many people to drastically alter their daily schedules, which can wreak havoc on sleep. But there are simple strategies that can help support sleep and well-being during this trying time.
Asthma is a common and expensive childhood condition that erodes quality of life for kids and families. Researchers sought to identify patient-centered interventions to reduce avoidable asthma-related acute care use and improve outcomes. They found that the solutions lie at the nexus of the health care system and the community.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health blog
We are seeing small but positive changes in the appreciation of the social determinants of health and the need for broader community health investments. People are expanding their views of what influences health and there have been some targeted improvements in health care and public health access. Yet, the critical systemic changes needed for more transformative health improvements have been slower to follow.
Pittsburgh has been taking a hard look at race, wealth, and opportunity. In partnership with RAND, the city has run and published its numbers on subjects ranging from police contacts to business ownership to graduation rates as part of a commitment to do better.
When the Shop 'n Save in Pittsburgh's Hill District closed its doors for good, residents lost the ability to go to a supermarket near their homes. But they also lost something less tangible: a symbol of hope, opportunity, and change for their neighborhood.
Libraries can provide much more than books and internet access. Libraries across the United States are evolving to play a bigger role in community health. Many offer nutrition programs, mental health support, and even free bike-shares.
The Netflix series Dear White People shows how sexual decisionmaking can be influenced by race, status, and the power dynamics within a relationship. Public health programs and policies could be better tailored to account for this complexity.
The Culture of Health project focuses on making health a priority in communities. As the United States grapples with health care spending and changing demographics, the Sentinel Communities project will illuminate stories from local communities and paint a picture of the ways communities strive to improve population health.
Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences
By working together, the Culture of Health and Open Science movements could increase their potential to accelerate the use of scientific evidence to address impediments to population health and collective well-being.
The greatest opportunities to improve health happen pretty much everywhere but the doctor's office. Collaborative programming that merges strategies from housing, education, or labor could make a big difference.
Manufacturers could reinvigorate the market for personal health devices by incorporating measures of health and well-being beyond step counts. Wearables could gauge a neighborhood's air quality, safety, or its level of social connectedness.
Involving the medical community in helping to measure and increase tolerance could help make individuals and communities healthier. Since hate is both deadly and contagious, now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it.
Most neighborhood parks are underutilized, especially in the mornings and on weekdays. But with a modest amount of redesign, investment, and marketing, parks could lead more people to engage in routine physical activity.
Troops, veterans, and military families can go to the National Resource Directory to find help if they need it, and citizens can turn there to find organizations serving those communities where they can donate their time or money. Each of us can play a role in bridging the civil-military divide, but only if we take action.
Atop the new mayor's agenda should be improving the health and well-being of Pittsburgh residents. With an unassailable electoral mandate in hand, Mr. Peduto is positioned to take bold steps. And the best way to do that is by applying scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.