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The Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation award joint grant to Institute for Alternative Futures to explore future of public health in the U.S.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What will public health in the U.S. look like in 2030?  To explore this question and identify implications for today's strategies, the Kresge Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have awarded the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) funding to develop scenarios describing expectable, challenging, and visionary futures of public health in the U.S.

Local, state, and national organizations and leaders in public health will be able to use the Public Health 2030 Scenarios to consider uncertainties, trends, and forces that will shape public health and public health organizations.  The scenarios will offer a tool for them to inform future-oriented and successful long-term strategies and efforts, rather than making decisions and developing programs and systems solely based on the past and present.

IAF's project will consider a comprehensive set of factors that will influence local and national public health.  These scenarios will build on IAF's previous work in health and health equity, such as Primary Care 2025, Vulnerability 2030, and Health and Health Care 2032, while also considering public health innovation, public health finance, technologies, automation, evidence-based care and administration, health inequity, and public health roles, policy, and administration.

Questions that the scenarios will address include: How will the focus, execution, and evaluation of the 10 essential public health functions change by 2030?  Will some of these essential functions be transitioned to private providers, the marketplace, or technology?  How will the roles of communities, community-based organizations, and national or regional non-profit organizations in shaping public health grow and change?  In what ways will the local, state, and national fiscal and economic challenges impact public health agencies, departments, and personnel?  What are sustainable financing options for local health departments?  How will public health roles evolve?  Will the role of industry and businesses in public health change?  What will be the trade-offs and tensions between the regulatory and advocacy roles of public health departments?  Will prevention become a more consistent focus of society and health care?  How will the media and general public see and interpret public health issues?

In this project, IAF will conduct a national workshop on Public Health 2030 to consider the scenarios and their implications for the public health field and other stakeholders, and develop recommendations for strategy and action.  The results of this project will be widely shared through workshops, webinars, and presentations of the scenarios for the Kresge Health Team, RWJF Public Health Team, local health departments, and other interested organizations and leaders.

The scenarios are projected to be complete by spring of 2014.  IAF will also develop internet-based tools that enable local health departments, communities and organizations anywhere in the U.S. to use the scenarios to more effectively create their preferred future.

About
The Kresge Foundation is a national, private foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change.  For more information on programs, their strategic objectives and focus areas, visit www.kresge.org.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country.  As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change.  For more than 35 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves.  For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.  Follow the Foundation on Twitter (www.rwjf.org/twitter) or Facebook (www.rwjf.org/facebook).

The Institute for Alternative Futures is a nonprofit research and educational organization that helps communities and organizations more wisely understand and create the futures they prefer.  Since 1977, IAF has been a pioneer in the use of futures methods, such as forecasts, scenarios, and vision, in health and health care, energy, transportation, education, and business.  For more information, visit www.altfutures.org.  IAF also developed and leads the Disparity Reducing Advances Project – a multi-year, multi-stakeholder project – to identify and accelerate advances that would achieve health equity.  Learn more at www.altfutures.org/draproject.

SOURCE Institute for Alternative Futures

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