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Association Wins Grant to Build Population Health Road Map for Hospitals


WASHINGTON, DC – America’s Essential Hospitals will use a newly awarded grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to survey its members about programs to improve population health and to build a road map for nationwide adoption of successful programs.

The RWJF grant will fund a nine-month planning phase of the association’s Moving to Action for Hospitals and Population Health project. Essential Hospitals Institute, the nonprofit research and quality improvement arm of America’s Essential Hospitals, will conduct the work.

Population health programs, which work at the community level to promote healthful behaviors and mitigate social determinants of poor health, play an increasingly important role in preventing conditions that require medical care. America’s Essential Hospitals has made population health improvement a research priority.

“We are grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its support of this important project,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “Our hospitals routinely go beyond their walls to improve community health. But it’s not clear which approaches work best, what barriers they face, and how to transfer their work to other communities.”

To answer these and other questions, Essential Hospitals Institute first will conduct a thorough, formative evaluation of the current landscape by surveying the association’s 275 member hospitals in 35 states. The Institute also plans to conduct a literature review; interview patients, caregivers, community members, and other groups to understand their perspectives on the value of population health; and convene a summit of key stakeholders, including clinicians, researchers, policymakers, community-based organizations, and others.

The Institute will use its findings and summit proceedings to develop a population health road map to share with member hospitals and partners. From there, it will transition to a multiyear project to promote broader use of population health programs nationally.

“Population health has taken center stage with the recognition of its powerful potential to improve health, lower costs, and achieve many goals of the Affordable Care Act,” said David Engler, PhD, the Institute’s director and senior vice president of leadership and innovation for America’s Essential Hospitals. “We look forward to exploring our members’ work, learning together, and providing tools all hospitals can use to have a positive and lasting impact on community health.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our 275 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute

Essential Hospitals Institute is the research and quality arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Carl Graziano


About the Author

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

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