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Because health is a function of more than medical care, solutions to U.S. health problems must encompass more than reforms to health care systems. But those working to improve health, well-being, and equity still too often find themselves traveling on parallel paths that rarely intersect. In 2013, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) embarked on a pioneering effort to advance a Culture of Health initiative. A Culture of Health places well-being at the center of every aspect of life, with the goal of enabling everyone in our diverse society to lead healthier lives, now and for generations to come. To put this vision into action, RWJF worked with RAND to develop an action framework that identifies how the nation will work toward achieving these outcomes. This report provides background on the development of this action framework. The Culture of Health action framework is designed around four action areas and one outcome area. Action areas are the core areas in which investment and activity are needed: (1) making health a shared value; (2) fostering cross-sector collaboration to improve well-being; (3) creating healthier, more equitable communities; and (4) strengthening integration of health services and systems. Each action area contains a set of drivers indicating where the United States needs to accelerate change and a set of measures illustrating places for progress. Within the primary Culture of Health outcome — improved population health, well-being, and equity — the authors identified three outcome areas: enhanced individual and community well-being, managed chronic disease and reduced toxic stress, and reduced health care costs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Developing the Action Framework and Drivers

  • Chapter Three

    Toward a Strategy for Measuring a Culture of Health

  • Chapter Four

    Stakeholder Engagement to Inform the Culture of Health Action Framework

  • Chapter Five

    Making Health a Shared Value

  • Chapter Six

    Fostering Cross-Sector Collaboration to Improve Well-Being

  • Chapter Seven

    Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities

  • Chapter Eight

    Strengthening Integration of Health Services and Systems

  • Chapter Nine

    Improving Population Health, Well-Being, and Equity

  • Chapter Ten

    Summary and Next Steps

  • Appendix A

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Culture of Health

  • Appendix B

    Sentinel Community Overview and Frequently Asked Questions

Research conducted by

This research was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted within RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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