Children and the Future of Community Health in DC

– As part of our ongoing series of social determinants of health events, Community Health Charities held another invitation-only breakfast in Washington, DC, co-hosted by Children’s National Hospital and The HSC Health Care System. Speakers included leaders from Anthem Public Policy Institute, Howard University, Marriott International, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Children’s National Hospital and The HSC HealthCare System.

Speakers discussed social, environmental and economic barriers that impact health; the importance of including people with disabilities; working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); investing in public health; inviting the community into a shared goal with shared language; and the value of companies providing job training and opportunities.

Highlights from speakers include:

  • Lanre Falusi, Medical Director of Advocacy Education, Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Hospital, shared how social and environmental factors play a larger part of health than healthcare. It’s no longer enough to care for just the child (patient). As medical professionals, it’s important to care for and create policies and practices that support the whole family.
  • Nathaniel Beers, President, The HSC Health Care System, shared why diversity is important when addressing social determinants of health. Patients respond to providers who look like them. He also discussed including people with disabilities.
  • Niki Zoli, Director of Social Impact of Marriott International, discussed the importance of job training and hiring to provide opportunities, as well as mentoring programs and other assistance.
  • Pamela Carter-Nolan, Director of the Masters of Public Health Program at Howard University, talked about training the next generation of public health leaders and the importance of funding research, training and scholarships to address health barriers.
  • Jennifer Kowalski, Vice President, Anthem Public Policy Institute, moderated the session plus shared Anthem’s long-standing commitment to community health, including a grant with Community Health Charities to work with nonprofit organizations, expanding their reach to address social determinants in their communities.

Thank you to Children’s National and HSC Health Care for hosting and to all our distinguished panelists. Check out the program (link to PDF), watch the highlight video, view event photos and program.