A group of leading health researchers that includes Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), is advocating a new national agenda that focuses attention on factors outside the medical system — from earned income tax credits, to criminal justice policies—that will improve population health.
Dr. Galea is among more than 100 researchers, scientists and policy makers from across the US selected by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to prepare expert papers on 19 priority areas for US health policy. The NAM report, “Vital Directions for Health and Health Care,” is intended to provide guidance for the next Presidential administration and healthcare policymakers. It includes recommendations for care coordination, eliminating disparities in access and care, and rapid adoption of scientific advances.
The paper that was co-authored by Dr. Galea and six other experts, titled “Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequities,” cites research showing that life expectancy in the U.S. is shorter than that of other high-income nations, and that health disparities are greater.
“Health inequities are not inevitable; actions that lessen social disadvantage can reduce gaps in health and longevity,” wrote the group, which includes Dr. Howard Koh, former US assistant secretary for health for the Department of Health and Human Services. “Health policies need to expand to address factors outside the medical system that promote or damage health.”
To read more about the report, go to: