On April 2, 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America issued 10 cross-cutting recommendations for improving the nation's health. The Commission spent a year exploring the state of America's health and how health is shaped by where and how people live their lives. The Commission's recommendations are rooted in the twin philosophy that good health requires individuals to make responsible personal choices and society to remove the obstacles blocking too many Americans from making healthier choices and leading healthier lives. Given the seriousness of the nation's economic downturn, the Commission also focused on developing proven and feasible recommendations that offer the strongest potential to leverage limited resources.To explore the ramifications of the Commission's work and findings, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation convened a panel discussion in Washington, D.C.
Hosting the discussion was Carole Simpson, a member of the commission and retired ABC News anchor. Taking part in the panel were Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; David R. Williams, Ph.D., Commission staff director; and Dennis Rivera, also a commissioner and chair of SEIU Healthcare, a union of over one million health care workers dedicated to health care reform.