What a Year! Looking Back at the Highlights of 2013
No doubt about it, 2013 was quite a year. But as we reflect back on it, we should remember that despite the political fighting, the government shutdown and the relentless attacks on the Affordable Care Act, it was also an historic year.
It was a year when several communities in the US went for a soda tax and Mexico succeeded. It was a year when leaders and advocates in communities across the country intensified their efforts to improve food and activity environments, advance equity, reduce violence, and improve the health of entire communities. And finally, after a century of effort, it was the year when huge steps were finally taken to expand access to healthcare and health insurance to more Americans.
But since access to insurance and healthcare are only part of the path to better health, we’ve been gratified by the growing number of healthcare organizations and leaders that see the value of prevention and are working to integrate it into a changing healthcare system.
PI is proud to have partnered with many of you in these efforts. And since we’re an organization that likes to celebrate our victories (while learning from setbacks and mistakes), we’ve put together this review of the year’s highlights—and a look at some of the new tools and resources PI produced and shared over the past year (as well as some oldies-but-goodies that gained new fans).
Here are a few of Prevention Institute’s 2013 highlights:
- We celebrated eight years of UNITY! Our efforts to support large U.S. cities in preventing violence has helped shift the paradigm from a largely criminal-justice approach to one that engages public health and communities. The eight-year evaluation showed that UNITY improved collaboration, enhanced strategic planning, increased focus on upfront prevention, and provided a forum for cities to work together on critical issues.
- In January, we released an important brief, How Can We Pay for a Healthy Population? that highlighted four cutting-edge models that are creating new funding streams within the healthcare system that help improve health by upgrading community environments.
- Population health emerged as a federal priority and a goal for many healthcare organizations. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was deluged with applicants when it announced a $1 billion funding opportunity for new health-systems models, including those that aim to improve population health.
- In April, we and our partners in Strategic Alliance launched the California Blog with a reflection on why California’s new Cap and Trade program can make a difference to public health. We went on to publish 13 more blogs on topics ranging from a documentary on assaults against female farmworkers to the way McTeacher’s nights undermine the health of children.
- In July, we hosted in our offices a reading and talk by Rishi Manchanda, author of “The Upstream Doctors,” a fabulous book that calls on doctors and other medical professionals to move upstream to focus on the community conditions that give rise to poor health in the first place.
- In December, we led and hosted a two-day training of 15 trainers in the use of our THRIVE tool, a framework that helps guide public health practitioners to engage with community members in working to change community conditions and improve health. “The best training I’ve attended,” raved one attendee. “I was struck by the power of intentionality,” said another.
- And also in December, we and the CDC released A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity, a new tool to help public health practitioners tackle health inequities as they focus on policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to improve the places where people live, learn, work and play.
In the coming year, we’ll be releasing new papers and briefs including a guide to influencing local policy to improve community health, wellbeing and equity; a report on how healthcare institutions can use data on local community conditions to guide prevention efforts; a brief on behalf of the Convergence Partnership on promising strategies to achieve healthy people, healthy places and advance equity; and a new workbook that helps public health practitioners make use of our Collaboration Multiplier tool. We’ll also be showing off our newly revised website and a regular new blog.
Want to see Our Top 14 for ’14, a complete list of new resources we released in the past year (along with some vintage “hits”)? Click here and read on.
We hope you’ll take a look and share this with your friends and colleagues. And we wish all of our friends and partners a happy and productive New Year.