WASHINGTON, DC (July 25, 2018): Aligning for Health, an advocacy coalition focused on the social determinants of health, has established an Advisory Board of leading experts on social determinants and groups representing states and counties, consumers, and housing, nutrition, public health and mental health programs. The Advisory Board will provide advice and recommendations to Aligning for Health as it continues to advance policy proposals that test the idea that the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations can be improved by better aligning programs and services addressing the social determinants of health.

Advisory Board:

  • Nicole Barcliff, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Amy Clary, National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)
  • Anne De Biasi, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)
  • Theresa Eagleson, University of Illinois and former Illinois Medicaid Director
  • Jason Gromley, The Root Cause Coalition
  • Jason Helgerson, Helgerson Solutions Group and Former New York Medicaid Director
  • Jerold Mande, Tufts University, former Senior Advisor on Food/Nutrition, USDA
  • John McCarthy, Speire Healthcare Strategies, Former Medicaid Director in Ohio and the District of Columbia
  • John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC)
  • Andrew Sperling, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Tracy Wareing Evans, American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
  • Ginger Zielinskie, Benefits Data Trust

“In order to advance the health and well-being of all people, we must work together to influence modern approaches to sound policy,” said Tracy Wareing-Evans, president and CEO of the American Public Human Services Association, “Utilizing frameworks like social determinants of health can help us move the health and human services systems upstream to focus on prevention and early interventions that enable all families to live healthy lives and thrive in their communities. I look forward to being a part of the Aligning for Health Advisory Board to help lead these efforts together.”

New Members:

Additionally, Aligning for Health is pleased to announce that the American Hospital Association, Anthem, and Amida Care have joined as members. All three organizations are dedicated to advancing policies and initiatives that help to best serve patients by addressing social determinants of health. AHA, Anthem, and Amida Care join Aligning for Health’s founding members: Alliance for Better Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CareSource, Humana, Maxim Healthcare Services, Solera Health, UPMC Health Plan, and WellCare.

“Social factors greatly influence patients’ total health and wellbeing, encouraging hospitals and health systems to care for patients outside their four walls,” said Ashley Thompson, senior vice president for public policy at the American Hospital Association. “We are pleased to be supporting this work by joining other Aligning for Health partners in the effort to break down government silos so that federal funds can be used in innovative ways to provide comprehensive care to patients in our communities.”

Aligning for Health is made up of stakeholders who recognize that health is connected to more than just access to medical services. Studies estimate that social factors such as access to nutritious food, safe housing, and financial security account for nearly 70 percent of all health outcomes, and that addressing such social factors can have positive effects on health outcomes, healthcare costs and utilization.

Important safety-net programs meant to promote well-being are often fragmented, hindering holistic and innovative approaches to addressing consumers’ needs, and resulting in complex consumer experiences. Therefore, Aligning for Health (AFH) is seeking to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care by developing a path forward for more effective and coordinated health and human service programs.