Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Convergence Partnership, a collaboration of six of the country's top health foundation, has issued a joint statement (3 pages, PDF) from the leaders of those foundations calling for prevention measures to be central to the reform of our national health system.

Top officials at the California Endowment, Nemours, Kaiser Permanente, and the Robert Wood Johnson, Kresge, and W.K. Kellogg foundations wrote that prevention measures such as early health screenings and improved access to healthy food will save both lives and money. As Congress debates how to reform the system, the foundation leaders emphasize that prevention can save money and improve the long-term health of the population.

A 2008 study by the Trust for America's Health, Prevention for a Healthier America (72 pages, PDF) found that for every dollar invested in proven community-based disease prevention programs, the nation saves $5.60. According to the study, investing $10 in prevention per person would yield annual savings of more than $16 billion nationwide within five years.

"Over time," the signatories wrote, "a focus on community prevention will improve health, save money, reduce demands on our health system, and, most important, lead to a nation of healthier people and healthier places to live."


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