The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said it has formed a two-year, national commission that will focus on factors beyond the healthcare system to improve healthcare for all Americans. Mark McClellan, M.D., a former CMS administrator who now serves as a director at the Brookings Institution in Washington, will co-chair the new Commission to Build a Healthier America with Alice Rivlin, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, who now serves as a senior economist at Brookings.
Based at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, the 14-member commission includes representatives from business and academia, as well as some nationally known figures, such as former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist of Princeton University and Carole Simpson, a former anchorwoman at ABC News who now works at Emerson Colleges School of Communication. Other commission members include Allan Golston, U.S. program president at the Gates Foundation, Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics at Harvard University, and Dennis Rivera, president of SEIU Healthcare.
Part of the commissions goal will be to identify solutions that are currently in place, such as the Healthy Homes program in King County, Wash., where community health workers conduct regular visits to reduce childrens exposure to conditions in their homes that can cause asthma, the foundation said.
Despite all we spend on healthcare as a nation, there is a big gap between how healthy we are and how healthy we could be, and this gap exists for every race and income level, McClellan said in a news release. In fact, wealthy Americans have worse health than middle-income Britons, as measured by rates of several major chronic conditions. -- by Jessica Zigmond
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