Consensus Reports from the Culture of Health Program 


 

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity is the first in a series of consensus reports to emerge from the National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health Program.

Key Messages from the Report

Health equity is crucial. Health equity is fundamental to the idea of living a good life and building a vibrant society because of its practical, economic, and civic implications. Promoting health equity could afford considerable economic, national security, social, and other benefits. Yet recent research demonstrates that worsening social, economic, and environmental factors are affecting the public’s health in serious ways that compromise opportunity for all.

Health inequity is costly. Beyond significant costs in direct medical care expenditures, health inequity has consequences for the U.S. economy, national security, business viability, and public finances, considering the impact of poor health on one’s ability to participate in the workforce, military service, or society. Addressing health inequities is a critical need that requires this issue to be among our nation’s foremost priorities.

This report also highlights promising solutions to help create equal opportunity for health in communities, which is the foundation for health equity. 

 

 


 

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, the second in a series of consensus reports from the National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health Programis now available as a free PDF download.

Over the past several decades, research has fundamentally changed our understanding of how adolescents—young people ages 10 to 25—develop, grow, and learn. Changes in brain structure and function (such as the strengthening of connections within and between brain regions and the pruning away of unused connections) that occur during adolescence affords young people a remarkable capacity to learn, adapt to changes, and explore their own creativity. Adolescent brains are specially tailored to meet the needs of this stage of life, allowing them to explore new environments and build new relationships with the world and people around them.

But what does our new understanding mean for society? How can we create the kinds of settings and supports that allow adolescents to thrive and make meaningful contributions to the world around them? 

A positive pathway into a thriving adulthood is not forged by adolescents alone. Instead, it requires alignment between the strengths of adolescents, like their increased independence, flexible problem solving skills, and openness to new experiences, with resources available in their environments, including access to stable housing and nutritious foods as well as positive social interactions and relationships with peers and adults.

There is an urgent need to reimagine and redesign the systems and settings that adolescents most frequently encounter, including the education, health, justice, and child welfare systems. By embracing a collective responsibility to build systems that account for the new knowledge we have acquired, we can ensure that millions of young people flourish and can impact society for the better.

 


 

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.

Meeting 1

May 31, 2018 
Meeting page 

Meeting 2

August 6, 2018
Washington, DC 

Meeting 3

October 1, 2018
Irvine, CA

Meeting 4

November 15-16, 2018
Washington, DC
Closed committee meeting 

Meeting 5

February 19-20, 2019 
Irvine, CA
Closed committee meeting

 

Report Release Webinar

July 25, 2019
Event page


 

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.

Meeting 1

July 16-17, 2018
Washington, DC 

Meeting 4 

April 2-3, 2019
Washington, DC 
Closed committee meeting 

 

Meeting 2

September 24, 2018
Washington, DC 

Public Webconference

November 13, 2018
Webconference

Meeting 3 

December 17-18, 2018
Washington, DC 
Closed committee meeting 

 


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