Health in Rhode Island: A Long Term Vision
Health industry leaders and advocates have collaborated for over a year to establish a long-term health plan for Rhode Island.
Convened and led by the Rhode Island Foundation, the Long Term Health Planning Committee, a group of local health and health care industry experts, have collaborated over the last year to set a 10-year plan for improving health in Rhode Island. The plan, Health in Rhode Island: A Long Term Vision, can be found by clicking on the button below. In full endorsement of the plan’s recommendations, the Rhode Island Foundation has committed $1 million, above and beyond its yearly grant-making in health, to the implementation of the plan.
The Long Term Health Planning Committee includes representatives from all corners of the health sector in Rhode Island (a full list of committee members can be found on pages 16 and 17 of Health in Rhode Island). At the Foundation’s request, and co-chaired by Jane Hayward, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Health Center Association and Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, the group came together in late 2018 with the intent to create a long-term approach for improving the health of Rhode Islanders. They sought to identify the most pressing needs and commit to state-level coordination and institutional decision-making that will address those needs over the long-term. In doing so, the group developed – and each member has endorsed – a vision, set of goals, guiding principles, priorities and associated strategies. The committee also identified an evaluation framework and a set of nearly 40 indicators, in partnership with Healthcentric Advisors, that will be tracked to measure progress.
“Across health outcomes we see significant disparities by race, ethnicity, gender and income. The committee quickly agreed that it is improving the health of Rhode Islanders overall, not only fixing the health care system, that we must focus on to make lasting change.”- Jane Hayward
The committee identified the following vision, goals and priorities:
Rhode Island is the healthiest state in the nation. All Rhode Islanders:
- Have the opportunity to be in optimal health.
- Live, work, learn and play in healthy communities.
- Have access to high-quality and affordable health care.
1. Eliminate disparities in health and contributing socio-economic factors.
2. Provide access to high-quality affordable health care.
3. Focus resources to maximize health and reduce waste.
- Providing the most appropriate care for people in the most appropriate setting.
- Focusing upstream on root causes and investing in affordable housing, food security and transportation to address underlying inequities and influencers of health disparities.
- Improving behavioral health outcomes by focusing on access to care, coordination of care and prevention.
- Reducing wasteful spending in order to redirect resources to social determinants and improve affordability.
- Ensuring sustainability, accountability and oversight of the group’s vision and maintaining progress in key areas where Rhode Island performs well.
“We recognize that good health isn’t only about health care. It’s about living in a safe place, having access to nutritious food, being supported by a caring community and knowing that quality, affordable physical and behavioral health care is readily available.”- Neil D. Steinberg
He continued, “Working with such a dedicated group of leaders throughout the last year to craft this plan is just the beginning. There is much more to do to make the priorities and strategies a reality, and we look forward to working with the community, local organizations, state policymakers and the Long Term Health Planning Committee to do just that. We are hopeful that the Foundation’s investment of $1 million in support of this work will inspire others to align their health and health care-related investments similarly.”
The Foundation aims to allocate the $1 million investment in support of initiatives aligned with the priorities and strategies identified in the report. The Foundation will also work with the committee to help sustain the effort and to report to the public on progress, at least annually.
Read a one-page summary of the report.
Read the one-page summary in Spanish.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.