The Robert Wood Johnson Commission to Build a Healthier America recently released a report which indicates that health care is not the only, or even the best, way to keep Americans healthy and reduce health care costs. The report, Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities, recommends the focus shift from improving healthcare to:
- Making American’s youngest children the number 1 priority.
- Making America’s neighborhoods places where everyone can thrive and be healthy.
- Making health – not sickness – the focus of healthcare.
Now, as you well know, KIB is not a healthcare organization. Therefore you may wonder why we sat up and took notice when this report was released. KIB IS in the business of improving neighborhoods. And, as we have known all along, healthy neighborhoods have impacts far beyond aesthetics–beauty is only skin-deep.
So what does the Commission think should be done to make neighborhoods healthier? They suggest communities integrate finance, health and community development. They suggest creating incentives and performance measures to spur collaborative approaches to building healthy communities. And they suggest communities replicate promising, integrated models and invest in innovation. Essentially the Commission believes this:
KIB has started down the path of collaboration. For example: or each IPL Project GreenSpace project, we bring together neighbors, neighborhood groups, community development organizations, project managers, landscape architects, artists and more. Could we do more?
Certainly, there is always the opportunity to do more! And we welcome your suggestions. Who else should we collaborate with to make our IPL Project Greenspace projects not only the best, but the healthiest for the neighborhood? Leave your comments below on other you think we should partner with, and ideas you think can improve our process!