Drivers of Health, a New Project

There is broad consensus that the U.S. spends too much on health care. Some feel that we would be better served by investing more on factors outside of the health system that affect health — so-called social determinants of health.

However, we lack reliable evidence to indicate where and how much to invest. Should we spend more on education or on the environment? Housing or nutrition? While there have been attempts to quantify the contribution of various factors to health, most have significant methodological limitations and do not incorporate more recent evidence.

As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, my team and I have organized a series of workshops to consider these questions. The first meeting “Refining the Question, ‘What Affects Health?” will be held on Monday, June 17, 1-5:15pm at the Weston Princeton in Princeton, NJ. David Cutler and Paula Braveman will speak about the wide range of factors that influence health and engage with the project’s committee — led by Ashish Jha and Sherry Glied — and others in attendance who wish to contribute. Details and registration on the website. Please RSVP and attend!

I would greatly appreciate it if you would share this invitation and project with anyone you think may be interested — your department, students, and other colleagues, friends, family, neighbors, etc.

Also, please explore, share, and revisit our project website, which includes an interactive (and more interactives to come), ways to engage on the project’s topics, and a blog that we will add to every week.


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