Now Viewing: Regional

At the Intersection of Urban Planning and Health in the New York Metro Region

Jul 12, 2016, 4:48 PM, Posted by Mandu Sen

Urban planning plays a role in addressing health challenges in America and can help give everyone the opportunity to live their healthiest lives possible.  

A man rides his bike through the street.

More perhaps than any place in the world, the New York metropolitan region is known for its urban form—its physical layout and design. From the Manhattan skyline to the neon lights and tourist-packed streets of Times Square to the rolling hills and winding paths of Central Park, New York’s built and natural environment is part of what makes it such a vibrant, dynamic place to live. The distinctive form also has important health impacts. But, as discussed in a new report, State of the Region’s Health: How the New York Metropolitan Region’s Urban Systems Influence Health, these impacts are often poorly understood.

The report, written by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) with support from RWJF, provides an in-depth look at health in the New York metropolitan region, where 23 million people live in cities, suburbs, villages and rural communities stretching from New Haven, Connecticut to Ocean County, New Jersey. It finds that New York region residents live longer than U.S. residents overall, but they are not necessarily healthier.

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Closing Health Gaps: The Oklahoma Example

Dec 7, 2015, 8:00 AM, Posted by Andrea Ducas

With the right data to inform priorities, and a powerful commitment to equity, places like Tulsa, Okla., are making progress to close health gaps.

Adult and child reading a book in the classroom.

What would your ideal future look like? For me and my colleagues at the Foundation, it would be one where everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life they can.

An unfortunate reality in this country, however, is that while we continue to realize substantial gains in health, the things that help people become and stay healthy are not evenly distributed across states or even metropolitan areas. Access to healthy foods, opportunities for exercise, good-paying jobs, good schools, and high quality health care services may be readily available in one area, and difficult to come by or nonexistent in another just a few miles away.

Sometimes the differences are particularly stark: In some communities, two children growing up just a short subway or car ride apart could be separated by a 10-year difference in life expectancy.

So how do we square this reality with the Culture of Health we’re working hard with others to build? An important first step is recognizing those disparities and what’s driving them, and ensuring that people in communities across America have strategies – and the data – they can use to proactively close health gaps.

Let’s use Oklahoma, and within it the city of Tulsa, as an example.

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Data, Meet Curiosity: Finding Bright Spots in Appalachia

Apr 1, 2015, 9:20 AM, Posted by David Krol

There are so many opportunities to connect the wealth of data we have at our fingertips and to start asking new questions. David Krol tells his story about how he took this approach to find bright spots in Appalachia.

A misty scene of trees and sky.

If you close your eyes and picture Appalachia, what do you see? The images that often arose first in my mind were those from LIFE Magazine’s 1964 photo essay on the war on poverty. Photojournalist John Dominis gave the nation a face to the plight of Appalachian communities in Eastern Kentucky, and poverty and economic hardship have long been central to an outsider’s understanding of the region ever since. But through my work at the Foundation, I knew this narrative was only one part of the region’s rich and diverse story. I knew there was a different story to be told, and so I wanted to shine a light on these bright spots that demonstrate how health can flourish across Appalachia.

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"We Knew the Need Was Significant": Nurse Leadership by Example

May 25, 2012, 1:00 PM

Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation, devoted the latest issue of its PIN Point newsletter to the topic of leadership and featured the Leading Toward Tomorrow Project, which cultivates nurse leaders in southeast Michigan, with a primary focus on geriatric care. Below, three project leaders weigh in on what led them to tackle leadership development and what they’ve learned along the way.

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Why does your organization see nursing leadership as an area worthy of investment?

Elizabeth Sullivan, MPA, vice president for community investment at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan: We felt it was important to build the nursing workforce and to do it in a way, in this particular project, that supports retention and mobility of nurses. We knew that the need was significant in southeast Michigan, and we knew it was important to do this with nurses in acute and long-term care settings. Our interest was working with novice nurses who found themselves in management positions and were working in care settings that serve a lot of older adults.

Carole Stacy, MA, MSN, RN, director of the Michigan Center for Nursing: On one of our nursing surveys several years ago, one of the questions was: If you’ve left a nursing job in the last two years, what was the reason? One of the answers they could select was that they had difficulty with their nurse manager or with administration. Over the course of several surveys, we kept seeing that particular response chosen in large numbers. Then we really started going out and looking at what the problem was. We found that in Michigan, we do not do a very good job of preparing people to be in nursing management. Just because they’re a good nurse, we assume they’ll have the skills needed to be a good manager. And that’s frequently not the case.

Nora Maloy, DrPH, senior program officer at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation: The Foundation has been supporting the profession of nursing since 2003, when we developed an initiative addressing the nursing shortage. That put us in touch with nurse leaders from around the state. Since then, through our nurse leader colleagues, we have seen the impact of nursing on all aspects of health care, including access, policy and quality of care.

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Diverse Partnerships are Key to Texas Team's Success

Mar 26, 2012, 1:00 PM, Posted by Alexia Green

By Alexia Green, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean emeritus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and co-leader of the Texas Action Coalition

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Creating and sustaining partnerships is vital to the Texas Team: Advancing Health through Nursing—a state Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Although the Texas Team was only approved as an official Action Coalition in September 2011, we have been working diligently to recruit and build partners who can support the campaign through 2020.

The various state Action Coalitions—such as the Texas Team—are composed of multiple entities (mostly other organizations), which in turn are composed of multiple individuals. Engaging and maintaining interest and commitment from these multiple entities is a very real challenge for the Texas Team and other newly formed Action Coalitions, but it is vital to all our success in achieving our Institute of Medicine (IOM) goals in our respective states. As leaders we must strive to engage all these partners and promote a common vision toward achieving the IOM goals.

Key to our success in Texas has been the recruitment of BlueCross BlueShield of Texas as our lead business organization for the statewide team. BlueCross BlueShield partners with the Texas Nurses Association as our lead nursing organization to advance the health of Texans through our Coalition activities. The Texas Hospital Association was an early partner and has also been very supportive of our activities.

Other diverse partners that have joined our Coalition include Bell Helicopter. Yes, that’s right, the folks who make helicopters! (And no, they haven’t provided us with any rides yet!) But they are very committed to advancing the health of our state through nursing. Associates in Process Improvement, a group of improvement scientists (yes, those same scientists who work with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) have also joined us because they too deem nurses integral to the improvement of health care across our nation.

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MyHeartMap Challenge: Mapping Life-Saving Defibrillators in Philadelphia

Jan 31, 2012, 1:00 PM, Posted by Raina Merchant

By Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program alumna and assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Medicine

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If the person next to you went into cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? Would you know where to find an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock and restart their heart? Millions of public places across the United States have AEDs that can save lives – airports, casinos, churches, gyms and schools, among them – but most people don’t know where they’re located. Every second counts when someone’s heart stops beating, and time spent searching for an AED is time wasted in increasing the chances of survival.

Surprisingly, no one knows where all of the country’s AEDs are located. Requirements for AED reporting and registration vary widely by state, and no comprehensive map of their locations has ever been compiled. As a result, 911 dispatchers aren’t always able to direct callers to an AED in an emergency, and callers have no good way of quickly locating one on their own.

This week, I launched the MyHeartMap Challenge with a multidisciplinary team from the University of Pennsylvania. This pilot study will use social media and social networking tools to gather this critical public health data and create searchable maps of Philadelphia’s AEDs that can be used by health professionals and the general public.

The first step of our challenge is a Philadelphia-based community-wide contest. We’re asking Philadelphians to find and photograph AEDs over the next six weeks, and submit the photo and location to us via a mobile app or our website. You can also participate if you don’t live in Philadelphia by finding a creative way to use your social network or harness crowdsourcing.

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Action Coalitions at Work: California

Jan 12, 2012, 12:00 PM

The California Action Coalition has brought together nursing and physician organizations, educational institutions, government agencies and workforce centers to advance the recommendations in the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Watch California Action Coalition co-leads Deloras Jones, RN, MS, and Terry Hill, MD, FACP, discuss the goals for their state. This video is part of a series released by The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its state-based collaborations that are working to implement change.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Action Coalitions at Work: Florida

Dec 14, 2011, 2:54 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

Watch Michael Hutton, PhD, discuss progress by the Florida Action Coalition, which is working to advance recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The state’s Action Coalition is led by the Florida Center for Nursing and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Foundation.

This video is part of a series released by The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its state-based collaborations, called Action Coalitions.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Action Coalitions at Work: New Jersey

Dec 2, 2011, 1:47 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

New Jersey is working to advance the four main pillars of the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, by working to advance academic progression and to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

The state is home to the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is already working to increase the number of doctoral nurses and nurse faculty in the state. The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is also a partner in the New Jersey Action Coalition.

Watch Susan W. Salmond, EdD, RN, discuss the work of the New Jersey Action Coalition and why it’s important for nurses to pursue advanced degrees. This video is part of a series released by The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its state-based collaborations, called Action Coalitions.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Action Coalitions at Work: Wyoming

Nov 2, 2011, 2:07 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

In a state with fewer than a dozen doctoral nurses, the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnership is working to revitalize nursing education programs as part of its effort to implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This video is part of a series released by The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its state-based collaborations, called Action Coalitions.

Watch Veronica Taylor, RN, MS, and Brad Westby discuss the unique challenges in their state and how they’re working to implement change.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.