Health Leaders Join Forces to Call Attention to Gaps in Health Care Quality

    • August 30, 2011


Addressing the dangerous divide between the high quality of care the U.S. health care system is capable of delivering and the uneven quality that it actually delivers, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced Care About Your Care, a month-long effort in September to increase awareness about what consumers can do to identify and receive better health care.

Convened by RWJF and supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), along with other national organizations and TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, the initiative will galvanize attention about the state of health care quality and spark conversation about the steps Americans can take to improve their care.

The effort will shine a spotlight on local efforts to improve the quality of care that are gaining momentum across the country. These local efforts include: Aligning Force for Quality, RWJF’s signature program to lift the quality of care in 16 communities and provide models for national reform; the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program, HHS’ program to develop secure, private, and accurate systems of electronic health record adoption in 17 communities; and AHRQ’s Chartered Value Exchange program, made up of 24 community quality alliances.

“Even though more information about health care quality is available than ever before, few people use that information to make decisions about their care, or even ask doctors and nurses all the questions they have. With the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones at stake, we should all be seeking the best care possible, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of RWJF. “That’s why we are pleased to have other national partners stand with us as we announce the Care About Your Care effort. Together we will urge Americans to learn what quality health care is, look for the right care for themselves and their families, and live better by engaging more closely in their own health care.”

A central component of the month-long effort will be a new Web site to launch September 1,, which will include resources to help people better understand what quality care is, how they can find out more about the care provided by doctors and hospitals in their community, and how they can become more engaged patients.

Care About Your Care offers a platform to help Americans understand, identify and receive high-quality care. The highlight of the month-long effort will be a September 15 event in Washington, D.C., featuring Lavizzo-Mourey, Oz and other national luminaries. It will mark the progress and momentum of the quality movement, and provide real examples of transformative change among patients and physicians.

During the month of September, many different organizations will also be releasing information designed to help consumers recognize and receive quality health care. Many others will host local events to highlight their work.

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 health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For nearly 40 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.