The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and United Health Foundation announced that six states – Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Rhode Island – will receive funding and support to improve health outcomes in their states.
Each state will receive at least $25,000 from United Health Foundation and training and support from ASTHO to develop an innovative collaborative care model that will provide physician training and facilitate best practices, based on evidence-based care standards, to improve each state's health outcomes in the following areas: diabetes, infant mortality, obesity and smoking.
The states will focus on using best practices and evidence-based approaches to improve at least two of the four health indicators: Alaska and Kansas will focus on diabetes and obesity; Oklahoma and Rhode Island on obesity and smoking; Arkansas on diabetes and infant mortality; and Georgia on obesity and infant mortality.
The conditions were chosen due to each state's prevalence as measured by United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings: A Call to Action. Disparities between populations in disease, health outcomes and access to care will be addressed across all four indicators as part of the measures for improvement.
ASTHO will also share best practices among the learning collaborative states and others that have demonstrated success in key areas and measure progress toward improved health outcomes. ASTHO will share the lessons learned with other states to offer best-practice recommendations that will lead to healthier people, families, communities, states and a healthier America.
"Using America's Health Rankings as a catalyst to improve health and well-being in these six states is an example of the ingenuity and creativity of the public health community," said ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris, M.D., MPA. "The learning collaborative is an exciting program that will not only inspire the six state teams, it will yield ideas and practices that all states can adapt to their needs. ASTHO and United Health Foundation approach this new project with great anticipation and confidence that it will be highly valuable to state and territorial health agencies."
"The purpose of America's Health Rankings is to stimulate effective and targeted action by individuals, elected officials, medical and public health professionals, employers, educators and communities to improve the health of their populations," said Reed Tuckson M.D., United Health Foundation medical adviser. "This learning collaborative will identify key lessons from our six participating states that will benefit not only the participants in these states, but people across the nation. We applaud ASTHO for its leadership in bringing innovative solutions to the fight for the healthiest possible America."
For more information on America's Health Rankings or the current ranking of any state, visit http://www.americashealthrankings.org.
ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice. Web: www.astho.org; Twitter: @ASTHO.
About United Health Foundation
Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well-being of communities. After its establishment by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $200 million to improve health and health care. For additional information, please visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org
About America's Health Rankings®
America's Health Rankings® is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation's health on a state-by state basis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.