Vital Directions for Health and Health Care


With the imminent arrival of a new presidential administration, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) launched its Vital Directions for Health and Health Care initiative to call attention to priority health policy issues, compile evidence‐based recommendations, and strengthen bridges between policymakers and health experts. Cochaired by NAM president Victor Dzau and Duke University’s Mark McClellan and guided by an 18‐member bipartisan steering committee, Vital Directions launched with an August 2016 JAMA “Viewpoint” that laid out the initiative’s rationale and goals. The initiative has identified 19 focus areas for U.S. health policy, grouped into one of three categories: better health and well‐being, high‐value health care, and strong science and technology. For these focus areas, NAM commissioned more than 100 experts to author peer‐reviewed papers presenting evidence‐based recommendations. Highlights from this set of articles, published by NAM in September, will be included in a special issue of JAMA in October. NAM also held a special session on Vital Directions at its recent annual meeting. Commonwealth Fund support will enable NAM to execute a robust dissemination strategy for the initiative featuring a variety of media outreach, public engagement with federal and state policymakers, and relationship-building activities. These activities will help establish stronger ties between policymakers and health experts as well as foster an ongoing, productive dialogue around the initiative. The Vital Directions initiative will provide the new administration, policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public with trusted, nonpartisan, evidence‐based analysis needed to inform effective policy around high‐priority topics in health and health care for 2017 and beyond.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
National Academy of Sciences
Principal Investigator:
J. Michael McGinnis, M.D., M.P.P.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 8, 2016

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