UW Population Health Institute Awarded $4.9 Million by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Mobilize Community Health Improvement Nationwide

    • January 27, 2009

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is embarking on an innovative project to Mobilize Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Under the leadership of Patrick Remington, M.D., M.P.H., and David Kindig, M.D., Ph.D., the institute will rank the health of every county in all 50 states.

“The overarching goal of this project is to close the gap between “what we know” and “what we do” to improve health and reduce disparities,” said Patrick Remington, M.D., M.P.H., director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

This work builds on the institute’s six years of experience publishing the annual Wisconsin County Health Rankings. These rankings draw considerable attention around the state to the fact that a community’s health is determined by more than just its health care system.  The rankings show that, in addition to health care, people’s health behaviors and the socioeconomic and physical environment all contribute to a community’s health.  Now the institute will be taking this message across the country. 

In addition, to producing these state county ranking reports, the institute will explore and develop case studies around community partnerships that can help improve health and identify best practices for the use of financial and non-financial incentives for population health improvement. 

“Simply providing better health care is not the solution,” said David Kindig, M.D., Ph.D.  “New systems of accountability at the community level are needed, supported by partnerships including health care organizations, public health agencies, school boards, social service agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, and businesses.” 

“To help people live longer and healthier lives, leaders need to know the health challenges their communities face," said James S. Marks, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and director of the health group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We believe these county reports will help show leaders where additional efforts to improve their communities’ health can be most effective and make their communities healthier places to live, work, learn and play."

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute in the Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health was founded by David Kindig, professor emeritus of Population Health Sciences and former Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs, and is directed by Patrick Remington, professor of Population Health Sciences. The institute’s mission is to translate public health and health policy research into policy and practice. More information about the institute is available at http://www.pophealth.wisc.edu/uwphi/index.htm.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.