Raising the Bar: Health Care’s Transforming Role is leading much-needed discussions and developing principles for how the health care sector can help achieve optimal well-being for all the people and communities it serves.

The project will then provide practical guidance for deploying the principals in maternal health with an emphasis on those who face the greatest barriers.

The effort is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health (NASDOH) and the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Myriad social factors and systemic inequities inside and outside of clinical walls affect health. As a result, many sectors must work together to improve the health of the individuals and communities they serve.

This project is focused on one sector—health care—to clarify its role in achieving this aim. Those who give, get, and pay for care, as well as experts in public health and social services, will work collaboratively to develop clear principles to define and guide health care’s role.

Raising the Bar will explore questions like:

  • What is the value case for health care to raise the bar?
  • What actions will help health care achieve health equity?
  • What does health care need to clear a raised bar?

NASDOH is leading the process to foster discussion among advocates and leaders. This group will develop principles that ensure people, communities, and their priorities are at the center of health care; clarify the importance of health care as a player across the health spectrum; and ensure that the principles are achievable and actionable.

The National Partnership will then apply the principles to create an actionable case example for use in maternal and newborn health. Maternal health has been selected as the first test example because maternal morbidity and mortality are unacceptably high, reflect racial inequities, and are largely preventable. It is an area where health care can improve care delivery in ways that respond to people’s life circumstances and social and emotional needs, address bias and discrimination, and improve the quality of clinical services.

Community-based organizations, patients, and their advocates will collaborate as equal partners alongside health care, public health, and social services to inform the principles’ development and their practical use.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is committed to improving health and health equity for all in the United States. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect. A nation that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. We call this a Culture of Health. And it is our Foundation’s vision for America. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About the National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health
The National Alliance to impact the Social Determinants of Health (NASDOH) seeks to make a material improvement in the health of individuals and communities and, through multi-sector partnerships within the national system of health, advance holistic, value-based, person-centered health care that can successfully impact the social determinants of health.

About the National Partnership for Women & Families
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care, and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family.

Project Partners