Beyond health care and prescription drugs, we must look at which social services, transportation services and financial considerations could advance the health of a patient. In partnership with the City of Boston, doctors at the Boston Medical Center are writing bike rental prescriptions for lower income patients with sedentary lifestyles. This enables patients to increase their exercise and overcome cost barriers to access bike rental programs.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health initiative envisions a society that empowers everyone to live the healthiest lives that they can, even when they are dealing with chronic illness or other constraints. This initiative imagines a health care system that couples treatment with care, and considers the life needs of patients, families, and caregivers, inside and outside the clinic.
As the co-chair of RWJF’s Data for Health series, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from health care, public health, schools, businesses and planners in cities across the U.S. Health is the responsibility of individuals, organizations and communities. For public health to thrive, we have to be more assertive at building partnerships—not just with health care—but also with schools, city planners, businesses, social services and faith communities.