The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working to build a Culture of Health.

Highlights

'Raising the Bar' Framework Helps Healthcare Organizations Improve Equity and Well-Being

Bold recommendations developed by experts from many sectors provide comprehensive, actionable framework for healthcare organizations to advance equity in care delivery.

Convened by RWJF to identify how healthcare can approach their oft-stated goal to increase equity, Raising the Bar crafted specific principles, roles and actions that healthcare organizations can use to begin, or advance, their health equity work. Advisors led by the National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health (NASDOH) crafted a framework outlining the wide-reaching and essential roles healthcare providers, payers and institutions must play in improving equity and well-being within their own organizations and the communities they serve.

An avoidable hunger crisis still looms for millions of children

Since early 2020, child nutrition waivers provided in response to the pandemic have made all students eligible for school meals at no cost and provided additional funding and flexibility to school meal programs. The waivers were set to expire June 30, which would have been premature: 23 million people in the United States are currently facing food insecurity and school meal programs are still struggling mightily with rising costs, staff shortages, and supply chain issues. Fortunately, Congress passed legislation last week ensuring that children could continue to receive meals at no cost through summer and extended some waivers through next school year. This bill averts the most dire short-term consequences but is far from perfect: it is imperative that the waivers be extended through next school year. As leaders of two nonprofit organizations committed to healthy school meals as integral to children’s learning and overall wellbeing, Richard Besser and Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, explain why this bill must be a first step not be a final one. 

Youth and gender-affirming care: let’s start with ‘do no harm’

Efforts to deny trans children necessary, gender-affirming treatment has been more about politics than about health. And this fight has real costs: More than 90 percent of LGBTQ+ youth say recent politics has harmed their mental health, and they're experiencing higher rates of depression and suicide. Lacking in this discussion: An understanding of the issue and empathy for all involved. What might a “do no harm” approach look like when it comes to youth and gender-affirming care? As pediatricians and longtime public health practitioners who care deeply about children, RWJF Executive Vice President Julie Morita and Senior Vice President Don Schwarz share a few principles to prioritize the health and wellbeing of America's youth.

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