Creating a Culture of Health

Creating a Culture of Health

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Deborah Gauvreau, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

The Florida Blue Foundation’s 2017 Community Health Symposium, Creating a Culture of Health (COH), was a rich source of inspiration and information about how communities across the nation are working together to create a healthier community.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has committed its $10 billion in assets to an overarching vision of improving health outcomes by building a nation-wide Culture of Health — community by community. What does a Culture of Health mean?

Defining health in the broadest possible terms, including all health factors: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.

Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions which mean making strategic, thoughtful, data-informed, and sustainable policy, programmatic, and systems changes.

Cultivating a shared and deeply held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health by addressing gaps in health and creating conditions that give everyone the opportunity to achieve the best health possible.

Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members, so individuals and organizations are all working together developing methods for buy-in, decision-making, and coordinated action.

Securing and making the most of the available resources by leveraging existing assets and prioritizing upstream investments that address social and economic determinants of health.

Measuring and sharing progress and results by beginning with the end in mind — committing to quality and impact in how the work is done and what impact is achieved.

Past winners of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, an award that honors and elevates U.S. communities that are making great strides in their journey toward better health, shared their inspiring experiences. Past winners presenting at the conference were Miami-Dade County, Florida; Columbia Gorge Region, Oregon and Washington; and Spartanburg County, SC.


Here are just a few quotes from presenters that can help guide efforts to build a healthier community with a Culture of Health:

“There is a tremendous cost both economic and human to doing nothing.”
“Conducting an accurate collective health assessment can catapult communities into collective action.”
“Positive human impacts create positive economic impacts.”
“Evoke the wisdom of the community!”
“Social cohesion is a predictor of health and health outcomes. All boats rise with social cohesion.”
“Social determinants of health are essential to understanding why some Americans are healthier than others and why Americans generally are not as healthy as they could be.”
“For funders, engage in collective investment; never invest in anything alone.”
“Eliminate finger pointing. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone for a better future.”
“Building a Culture of Health takes commitment and patience.”
“We are able to be successful when we collaborate.”


To contact Deborah:
Join Deborah on Twitter: @DeborahGauvreau

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