New Recommendations from the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America has released three key recommendations aimed at improving the health of all Americans. Building on the idea that people’s health is primarily affected by factors outside of the medical care system, the commissioners recommend significant changes in the way the nation funds efforts to improve the health of all Americans.

Nancy O. Andrews, President & CEO of LIIF, was among leading experts to offer insight and strategies on one of the commission’s central recommendations – the integration of health and community development. The commission’s full report cites LIIF’s investment in the ReFresh project, a healthy food hub, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a promising example of an integrated approach to health and community development. The project will house a new grocery store, a social enterprise for youth job training and healthy food, a teaching facility for Tulane University Medical School and community organizations. In addition to LIIF, financing for ReFresh included investments from the public sector, foundations and banks.

On LIIF’s understanding of what works to make a difference in the lives to low income families, Ms. Andrews noted, “We know that it takes more than housing. We know that it takes more than health care. We know we have to bust down the silos and bring these things together. Because that insight was so powerful to us and so transformative, [LIIF] made a decision that absolutely everything we do would be under the banner of healthy communities.”

Read the full report
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