Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities

In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) convened the Commission to Build a Healthier America to find better ways to improve the health of our nation.
In their search for solutions, the Commissioners found that where we live, learn, work, and play profoundly influences our health.
The new recommendations, released January 13, are aimed at improving health now and for generations to come, and specifically highlight the need to:

  • Prioritize investments in America's youngest children.
  • Encourage leaders in different sectors to work together to create communities where healthy decisions are possible, with a particular emphasis on community development.
  • Challenge health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives.

Reclaiming Futures supports RWJF's effort and continues to unite juvenile courts, probation, mental health treatment, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community to reclaim youth.
We'd love to hear from you. How can the Commission's recommendations change the way communities invest in young people? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below. 

For more information about the Reclaiming Futures, please visit reclaimingfutures.org/model.

Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Updated: February 08 2018