Investments in Public Health and Prevention Save Lives and Money

    • November 14, 2011

Even though America spends more than $2 trillion annually on health care—more than any other nation in the world—tens of millions of Americans suffer every day from preventable diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer, which rob them of their health and quality of life.

A new RWJF policy brief highlights recent evidence indicating that strategic investments in proven, community-based prevention programs could both save lives and result in significant U.S. health care cost savings and overall economic cost savings. The brief—Return on Investments in Public Health: Saving Lives and Money—highlights the findings and recommendations from four studies released between 2008 and 2011. The studies—several of which were funded by RWJF – reveal that public health investments can help prevent chronic disease, reduce escalating health costs and improve our overall economy.

Additionally, a new report by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)—also funded by RWJF—features six case studies across the United States illustrating how the link between public health and economic development can play out locally. From San Diego, Calif., to Hernando, Miss., the report examines innovative public health initiatives that are attracting businesses, improving workplace wellness, and providing a spark to local economies.