December 6, 2017
I am very excited to share this white paper on a concept I have been working for more than a year: Universal Access to Health Promotion: A Sustainable Strategy to Reduce Health Disparities, Improve the Health of an Entire State, and Accelerate the Evolution of Health Promotion.
This paper has several novel and clever elements.
• Articulating a goal of providing universal access to health promotion
• Recognizing that universal access to health promotion is an important and cost effective part of reducing health disparities
• Illustrating how an extensive ongoing campaign can be self-funded after seed funding by capturing a small portion of the funds flowing to implement it
• Articulating the key elements necessary for a successful ongoing campaign
• Listing state level policies that can support healthy lifestyle
• Illustrating how this might work using actual state level data from Colorado
If implemented, this approach has the potential to have a significant impact in several spheres of life.
• Reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases that have lifestyle as a primary cause
• Reducing medical spending for employers, state and federal governments, and individuals
• Enhancing the quality of life and sense of wellbeing for millions of people
• Challenging the health promotion field to develop effective strategies for school, clinical and other community settings
• Creating as many as 10,000 new health promotion jobs for each state that implements the approach
• Enhancing state level economies and tax revenues flowing from job creation
• Reducing the extent to which federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid threatens the nation’s fiscal solvency
As pleased as I am with this paper, I think of it as a working document that articulates a vision, a dream. I recognize that there is a huge gap between a 50-page paper and the enormous planning, mobilization and implementation necessary to make this a reality for even one state. Therefore, I encourage readers to examine it critically, celebrate its strong elements for a respectfully short period of time and then share constructive criticism, not to tear it down, but to riff on it, to make it better.
Please share your reactions/suggestions to the white paper here. Over time, we will set up a more formal mechanism to receive and process ideas. We will also be staging some webinars and live events to share the concepts and gather feedback.
You can download a copy of the white paper here. You can also download a spreadsheet of the primary tables that will allow you to change assumptions and manipulate values so the framework can be applied to any state.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Michael P. O’Donnell, MBA, MPH, PhD
CEO, Art and Science of Health Promotion Institute