Healthy Homes and Communities

A review of the evidence behind recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America on the creation of healthy community environments affirmed the Commission's recommendations and identified steps to implement and expand upon them.

The Commission found that communities' physical, social and economic environments affect individuals' health and exacerbate health disparities, and that public and private entities increasingly recognize the need for creating conditions for healthy living. According to the Commission, creating healthier community environments requires working with housing, transportation, recreation, community development and planning partners, as well as with the private and public sectors.

In order to implement the Commission's recommendations, the authors suggest including public, private, voluntary and philanthropic investment and incentives for investment in community-based prevention. They also recommend that community foundations and local businesses and employers formulate and participate in health initiatives.

Continued evaluation of community-based interventions is needed to provide more evidence of the interventions' impact and to guide future policy and investments.