FROM ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION

On the Road to Reform
Shaken by harsh economic realities and propelled by urgent social need, the forces for health and health care change are coming together in ways we haven’t seen before. For the first time, emerging data is telling the nation how powerful social, behavioral and economic factors make it so difficult for millions of Americans to realize the healthiest, most productive lives possible. We are learning in amazing detail what happens, how it happens and what we can do about it. As a result, covering the uninsured, improving the quality, safety and equality of care, focusing on prevention, and bringing spending under control are realistically within our reach.
This, my sixth annual report to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantees, stakeholders and the public is different, too. Recent messages highlighted our philanthropy’s response to targeted areas of significant health or health care need: strengthening public health post-Katrina (2005); reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity (2006); improving the quality and equality of health care by realigning local and regional market forces (2007). This year’s message takes a broader view, charting how health and health care arrived at this long-sought turning point and what we see ahead on America’s Road to Reform.
To help guide our journey along this road, a new section on rwjf.org focuses exclusively on health reform and the groundbreaking work of the Foundation, our grantees and our partners. Information, research and data are driving reform and we will update and grow this section of our Web site in real time with news releases, policy briefs, journal articles, research reports and the latest publications on what is happening in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Subscribe to our health reform RSS feed or sign up to receive e-mail whenever RWJF posts new and important information on the road to reform.
Improving both the health and health care of all Americans is more important than ever in this difficult economy. In fact, as you’ll see in my 2008 President’s Message, we cannot fix one without fixing the other. Fortunately, after decades of struggle, comprehensive health reform finally is within our grasp. The road to better quality and equality of health and health care in the United States is clear, straight and navigable. We expect success because the only special interest that counts is the healthiest possible state of the union for all Americans.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A.President and CEO