Newly released: Recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities calls for action on early childhood, healthy communities, and bridging health and health care. Read the report and explore the charts, infographics, and videos at

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) formed the Commission to Build a Healthier America to investigate why Americans aren’t as healthy as they could be and to look outside the health care system for ways to improve health for all. From February 2008 to December 2009, the Commission studied prevention, wellness and the broader factors that influence good health – conducting site visits, hearing testimony from experts, and issuing 10 recommendations to dramatically improve health for all Americans.

Although the official work of the Commission came to a close in December 2009, RWJF is committed to carrying on the legacy of the Commission and its recommendations by integrating the work and findings of the Commission into all of its programming addressing the social determinants of health. The Commissioners will continue to serve as ambassadors to their communities at large and the Commission’s Web site will continue to be available as a resource.

To learn more about the Foundation's continuing work to improve health for all Americans, visit



Commissioner Podcast Series

Staff, Commission to Build a Healthier America
December 17, 2009

Hear what the Commissioners have to say about the journey of the Commission to Build a Healthier America, the recommendations that they developed and the future of health in America in a final Podcast Series on the Leadership Blog. Read More

A Closing Word from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey on the Commission to Build a Healthier America

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
December 17, 2009

After a year and a half, two major reports and national events, three regional field hearings, nine issue briefs, two chart books, and more than 50 meetings with leaders from government and the private sector, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America has come to a close. Read More

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Laquanda Dobson and Shabazz Ransom

Healthy habits start young. That’s why Laquanda Dobson and Shabazz Ransom of West Philadelphia spend much of their free time teaching elementary schoolers how to grow, buy and cook nutritious foods. Meet Laquanda Dobson and Shabazz Ransom

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State data

See how factors such as income and education relate to child and adult health (by state).


  • Issue Brief: Message Translation

    The Commission's challenge was to frame highly-specific and technical information about social determinants and health disparities into language that would resonate with a diverse group of leaders. This issue brief, Message Translation, describes the research-based process used to develop messages and shares the results for broader use.


  • Summary: Final Commission Meeting

    The Commission held its final meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 9, 2009. Featuring organizations and policy leaders in the areas of early childhood, nutrition and physical activity, housing and the built environment, and population health, the meeting focused on current progress and the next steps necessary to make the Commission's recommendations a reality.


  • Issue Brief: Education Matters for Health

    This Commission issue brief, Education Matters for Health, discusses the large body of evidence linking education and health and examines why, across America and generations, people with more education live longer and experience better health outcomes.


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