National Academy of Medicine


Individual health is shaped by many economic and social factors such as income, education, access to high-quality health care, geography, and race and ethnicity. Uneven access to conditions that are needed for good health across the United States has been well documented, as have the poor effects on health that result — not only for individuals but also for their families and society.

The National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health Program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationis a multiyear collaborative effort to identify strategies to create and sustain conditions that support equitable good health for all Americans. The first five years of the program will produce a series of consensus studies from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as public workshops, community events, and tools for stakeholders.




Ongoing Consensus Studies

  • Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach

    Neurobiological and socio-behavioral research indicate that early life conditions, including social support and adversity, shape prenatal and early childhood development. These exposures unfold through education, housing, physical and social environment (the social determinants of health). However, programs and policies designed to mitigate these adverse conditions have not always had the positive effects intended for the majority of recipients of these programs. The goals of this study are to provide a brief overview of stressors that affect brain development and health; identify promising models and opportunities for translation of the science to action; identify outcome measures; develop a roadmap to apply the science to tailored interventions; and provide recommendations in the areas formerly listed.

    For more information about this consensus study, visit their homepage.

  • Integrating Social Needs Care into the Delivery of Health Care to Improve the Nation’s Health

    This study will examine the potential for integrating services addressing social needs and the social determinants of health into the delivery of health care to achieve better health outcomes and to address major challenges facing the U.S. health care system. The committee will discuss approaches currently being taken by health care providers and systems, and new or emerging approaches and opportunities; current roles of different disciplines and organizations, and new or emerging roles and types of providers; and current and emerging efforts to inform the design of an effective and efficient care system that improves the nation’s health and reduces health inequities.

    For more information about this consensus study, visit their homepage.

  • Study on the Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Science of Adolescent Development and Its Applications

    An ad hoc committee will examine the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development, health, well-being, resilience, and agency including the science of positive youth development. The committee will also focus on how this knowledge can be applied to institutions and systems so that adolescent well-being, resilience, and development are promoted and that systems address structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity and access.

    For more information about this consensus study, visit their homepage.

Additional Resources


Want to get involved?
Building a culture of health requires the involvement of many stakeholders. To learn more about the NAM’s Culture of Health Program, contact program director Charlee Alexander at  You can also join our mailing list for program updates.