On January 13, 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided a formal comment on the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, which is scheduled to be released by the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council by March 23. The council was created by a presidential executive order last June. In the comment, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., RWJF president and CEO, recommended specific additions to strengthen the Strategy, while also expressing support for major aspects and the Strategy’s emphasis on working closely with a range of public and private sector partners. “Health is everyone’s responsibility and all of us must play a role in transforming communities so they are healthier places to live, learn, work and play,” said Lavizzo-Mourey.
The recommendations in Lavizzo-Mourey’s letter include the implementation of key strategies of the Foundation aimed at improving health for all Americans:
- A reference to Health Impact Assessments (HIAs), which identify the health risks and benefits of a project or policy and offer solutions to make communities healthier.
- Quality and performance improvement, with national voluntary accreditation of state, local and tribal health departments as a key component, should become part of the Strategy.
- Provide clear recommendations on evidence-based law, policy and regulatory measures that have been shown to improve health outcomes, such as tobacco-tax increases and smoke-free air laws.