Our primary focus is a stronger public health system that builds evidence for what works, collaborates with a range of partners—policy-makers, business, education, health care, and community organizations—and then puts ideas into action. By making changes in the environments where we live, learn, work and play, we can make staying healthy easier for everyone.
The Foundation’s targeted strategy in public health focuses on three interconnected areas:
- Uncovering what works for improving health. The right data can help communities improve health in tangible, measurable ways, and make the most of limited resources.
- Advancing smarter laws and policies. Smarter laws and policies are one of the most effective ways to create significant, enduring improvements to Americans’ health.
- Strengthening the public health departments that make healthy communities possible. Because a stronger public health system is the network that can bring solutions to communities and directly improve people’s health.
Through targeted investments, we can make a significant and enduring impact on the health of communities throughout America.
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America spends more money on health care than any other nation on earth: $2 trillion annually. Yet, more than 95 percent of spending goes to “sick care”—medical interventions and health care services.But for all these investments, we are not a healthy nation. Tens of millions of Americans suffer every day from preventable illnesses and chronic diseases. Public health epidemics such as obesity and tobacco use and exposure put adults and children at risk for unprecedented levels of major diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. And our nation isn’t optimally prepared to protect people from disease outbreaks, natural disasters or acts of bioterrorism, crises that can significantly impact their health and well-being.
Access to quality health care is essential. But we must also identify new ways to prevent disease and health crises where they begin—in our communities. We need an integrated approach that protects all communities from health threats, makes staying healthy less costly, and improves the quality of life for all Americans.
What We Don't Fund
- We do not accept unsolicited proposals for work related to public health.
- We follow Foundation-wide guidelines for what we don't fund.
For more information on the issues RWJF seeks to address, download our complete overview.