The Issue We're Addressing
America has become an unhealthy nation–burdening unnecessary healthcare costs and chronic diseases.
Five percent of Americans, most with poly-chronic disease—many of which are (or may be) preventable—account for close to 45 percent of the massive $2.6 trillion total spent in healthcare in the U.S.
Eighty percent of American adults don’t meet federal exercise guidelines and sixty percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. Obesity-related illness, including chronic disease, disability, and death, is estimated to cost our nation $190 billion annually.
At the same time, communities and regions are struggling to meet the needs of this growing epidemic, and are sometimes even fueling the problem. For example, today, more than 23 million Americans live in areas designated as food deserts, meaning the nearest grocery store is located over a mile away. Without providing individuals with an environment conducive in making the right health choices, how can we expect them to succeed? Over the long term, it’s clear that the only way to flatten the health care spending curve is by investing in wellness and prevention.
How We're Tackling It
We need to work together to enhance prevention and wellness, empowering individuals with the resources and environment they need to invest in their health.
Good health enables Americans to live longer, lead more active lives, and improve their economic potential. Vibrant, healthy communities provide multifaceted ways to engage in healthy behavior and a variety of important resources for their residents. To achieve greater health for individuals, we are working to identify the critical leverage points to promote a strong culture of health and ideate the best solutions to cultivate a shared path to success, which could be easily adopted by multiple community stakeholders.
Over the past year, Hope Street Group has focused its Health program on increasing understanding of, and access to, tools and programs for chronic disease prevention and wellness. Working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we outlined the potential roles various community stakeholders could play to collaboratively promote healthier lifestyles, sharing our insights in an informed report.
Through a healthy eating pilot program hosted in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, we also saw firsthand some of the barriers families typically face in trying to adopt and engrain healthy lifestyles in their family routines. Further, through multiple convenings, we have recommended solutions to empower individuals, providing the right tools and technology to take ownership of their health and healthcare.
Our work in this sector has illuminated for us how crucial it is to develop a community-supported, multidimensional approach to health advocacy, and we look forward to continuing to partner with others to advance such health initiatives.
The Impact We're Seeing
We are reorienting care toward prevention, wellness, and active disease management.
Our national policy-level work, as well as our ground-level pilot program work, has influenced and informed numerous conversations on health in the United States. We’ve moved from discussing ways to make healthcare more affordable to addressing the underlying causes of preventable disease. We are currently working diligently on planning new convenings and forming new pilot program initiatives to delve even deeper into this issue and to uncover innovative approaches for widespread change.