In anticipation of the Presidential election and the entry of a new Administration, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) launched the Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative in 2016, which convened more than 150 leading researchers, scientists, and policy makers to provide expert guidance on 19 priority issues for U.S. health policy. The resulting publication presented a framework for achieving better health and well-being, high-value health care, and strong science and technology for the nation. As an extension of the Vital Directions for Health and Health Care initiative, we turn our attention to the all-important state level, beginning with a symposium in North Carolina.
The symposium, “Vital Directions for Health and Healthcare: The North Carolina Experience”, was held November 21-22, 2019 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Durham, NC, and provided a platform for understanding the status of health and health care at the state level within the context of the NAM Vital Directions initiative.
The symposium planning committee oriented the panel topics around the streamlined framework resulting from the capstone Vital Directions publication – a core set of eight strategic action priorities and essential infrastructure needs. While the focus was primarily on state-based innovations and challenges, the initiative also brought in national-level perspectives and insights. The symposium was a ripe opportunity to examine state-based capacity and lessons-learned for guiding health policy, as well as synergies among institutions and organizations that could lead to a more equitable health future for all.