BUILD Health is one of those ambitious funder collaboratives that aims to get people out of their silos and make vital connections across disciplines, sectors, and institutions. It’s bringing together the de Beaumont Foundation, RWJF and Kresge, plus giant consulting firm the Advisory Company, plus $7.5 million, and it's seeking collaborative projects that can get at the “upstream” causes of things like asthma, diabetes, access to good food, clean air, safe places to be outside.
If those sound like the ingredients of the "culture of health" that RWJF is always talking up, you're exactly right. And BUILD is an example of how health funders are becoming more savvy in addressing these issues.
Back in the fall, we talked to Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the de Beaumont Foundation about the initiative. He talked about the need not just for better practices to improve public health, but better data, too. “If you go to your doctor and you want to know your likelihood for cancer, we can get down to your genetic code,” says Castrucci. “But for community health, we are still using blunt measures of disease prevalence in a community. We need to be more accurate, we need to be surgical in how we approach this. We need to change the health curve of this country not just the healthcare curve.”
And in addition to going to bat for BUILD Health, the de Beaumont Foundation is also working on a collaborative project called "The Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together," a web-based resource that provides a "how to" manual for primary care and public health improve our understanding and integration with healthcare in the United States.
It was developed by the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has oversight from a steering committee made of up James Sprague, MD and Brian Castrucci, MA from the de Beaumont Foundation, Lloyd Michener, MD from Duke Community and Family Medicine, and Denise Koo, MD from the CDC. In addition, the Practical Playbook receives guidance from a National Advisory Committee that comprises both public health and primary care experts.
"The support and recognition that the Practical Playbook has received in Phase I from organizations like the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is a testament to the great need for this resource in both public health and medical fields," said James Sprague, MD, chairman of the board of the de Beaumont Foundation. "The Practical Playbook has already made a significant impact in its first year of operations, and Phase II will accelerate that forward momentum."