Washington, D.C. — As the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, a new report from the Center for American Progress urges the nation to focus attention on critical opportunities as well as threats to the nation’s health.
New policies must include long-term, sustained investments to prevent disease, promote health, and prepare for and respond to continuous and urgent threats to public health. That means addressing the social determinants of health, such as income, education, housing, employment, transportation, environmental conditions, and neighborhood conditions.
Policymakers must also focus on redressing structural and institutional racism to eliminate disparities that exist in economic and social systems. Improving the health of the nation’s most vulnerable populations will not only boost overall health outcomes and social well-being, but also strengthen the economy and help to build a strong, equitable future.
“Declines in health not only affect quality of life, but also the economy and national security,” said Jill Rosenthal, director of Public Health Policy at CAP and co-author of the report. “Policies to strengthen the nation’s health must ensure that individuals and all communities are healthy and thriving and that no one is left behind.”
The report outlines 10 priorities for improving the nation’s health:
- Stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Invest in public health infrastructure.
- Address the opioid and substance use epidemic.
- Mitigate climate change and invest in environmental justice.
- Reduce poverty and improve economic stability.
- Improve education access and quality.
- Improve access to affordable, stable, inclusive, healthy, climate-resilient housing.
- Improve health care access and quality.
- Reinforce social connections and community safety.
- Advance racial equity and inclusive policies.
Read the report: “Top 10 Ways To Improve Health and Health Equity” by Jill Rosenthal, Nicole Rapfogel, and Marquisha Johns
Read the fact sheet: “Fact Sheet: Top 10 Ways To Improve Health and Health Equity”
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at firstname.lastname@example.org.