Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity: Workshop Summary – Institute of Medicine – 2014
Institute of Medicine. Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014
Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity is the summary of a workshop convened in December 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities and the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement to explore the lessons that may be gleaned from social movements, both those that are health-related and those that are not primarily focused on health. Participants and presenters focused on elements identified from the history and sociology of social change movements and how such elements can be applied to present-day efforts nationally and across communities to improve the chances for long, healthy lives for all.
The idea of movements and movement building is inextricably linked with the history of public health. Historically, most movements – including, for example, those for safer working conditions, for clean water, and for safe food – have emerged from the sustained efforts of many different groups of individuals, which were often organized in order to protest and advocate for changes in the name of such values as fairness and human rights. The purpose of the workshop was to have a conversation about how to support the fragments of health movements that roundtable members believed they could see occurring in society and in the health field. Recent reports from the National Academies have highlighted evidence that the United States gets poor value on its extraordinary investments in health – in particular, on its investments in health care – as American life expectancy lags behind that of other wealthy nations. As a result, many individuals and organizations, including the Healthy People 2020 initiative, have called for better health and longer lives.”