Investing in a Healthy Future

The Healthy Futures Fund was created as an opportunity for health centers to work with community partners to improve opportunity and health together. Since its launch in 2013, the HFF has been used to invest in flagship projects – ground-breaking projects that serve as unique opportunities for FQHCs to work with partners to improve the health of their communities. Prior to receiving the planning grant, these organizations were among the 10 health centers that participated in a free program sponsored by LISC and Kresge that provided technical support to world-class centers for additional investment. The $1.5 million grant was funded through a combination of private and public-private partnerships in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The HFF has supported the expansion of primary care capacities for 114,000 patients and has also financed the construction of health facilities – concentrated housing units and health care – for the residents of assisted living in the community.

Public health is critical to building a healthier Washington and is at the heart of our state’s long-term health and well-being. Applying public health models to behavioral health can also shift the focus to public health priorities, including behavioral health. We can achieve this by including improved access to treatment and better coordination of health services across the state and across the nation.

Investing in children’s health is a high priority for federal and state policy, because a healthy child is crucial to their long-term health and well-being. Good development from birth to early childhood and adolescence presupposes that children participate fully in school and lead productive, healthy lives. Although Public Health Week is already over, there are still opportunities to get involved and advocate for a healthier community.

We found that federal action to extend insurance to children during the recent recession made a significant contribution to reducing the number of uninsured children in the state and maintaining child protections. By changing the community policy environment, improving physical activity and nutrition, and strengthening health coalitions in seven Kentucky communities, we can help put children’s health at the heart of our state’s health care system.

The foundation’s “Investing in Kentucky’s Future” initiative, which aims to reduce the risk of school-age children developing chronic diseases later in life, is funded by a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. According to an independent evaluation published today by the foundation, the scholarship offers useful lessons for local granters.

Healthy children learn better at school and are more likely to become healthy and productive adults. The Louisville Coalition works to foster a culture in which children are not exposed to traumatic events or other experiences that can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. To ensure that children have the opportunity to thrive in a health-care system that responds to their needs, it will be important to learn from diverse experiences and disseminate successful improvement strategies. Investing in children’s health means investing in children’s health, not only for their health and well-being, but also for the health of their families.

The Louisville Coalition advocates better access to health care for all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status.

BCBS invests in programs that reach foundations, communities, schools, families and individuals to promote healthier lifestyles. Particular emphasis will be placed on reversing the trend towards childhood obesity. Enabling Healthier Living, “which includes building a network of health care providers, community health centers, health programs and health insurance companies.

The key to improving public health is to restructure what we think, finance, and do in America. Watch back to learn more about the meaningful work that BCBS Companies is doing in our Investing for America’s Health series.

We are a civil society, but we often act under certain assumptions about people and the economy that have nothing to do with the health sector. We can be much more successful if we accept three important facts and implications, one of which is that we need to invest in prevention because we want everyone to be as healthy as possible, not just those trying to save money. Our health system must be adapted to the genetics, culture and microbiome of each individual.

When considering retirement at age 65, it is important to consider all your heath care needs.  Therefore, it is advisable to compare Medicare  Advantage plans for coverage that is best for you.

To reduce some of the greatest threats to our communities, we need to make lasting investments in the two-year period 2019-2020. The state is investing heavily in public health care and prevention in Washington state. This will help close critical gaps and ensure that the public health services on which we all depend are available to all Washington residents.

Years of inadequate funding have put pressure on our state and local health systems to protect the public. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive, long-term plan to improve public health.

The report falls short in advocating a broader health strategy for the population, and next week I will comment on how this strategy could become even more important and effective. Dr. David A. Kindig is professor emeritus of population at the University of California, San Diego School of Public Health.