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  • IOM Roundtable to Focus Attention on Nonmedical Factors That Influence Health

    Building on previous studies that show many factors beyond medical care affect people's health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently established the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement to explore the interactions of these influences. The new roundtable will provide opportunities for experts on education, urban planning, medicine, public health, social sciences, and other fields to interact and share their knowledge and perspectives with the goal of catalyzing joint action. 

    As a recent study by the National Research Council and IOM documented, Americans experience worse health and shorter lives than people in other rich, industrialized nations despite spending more on medical care than any other nation. Several IOM studies have described the effects of social and environmental factors that can lead to poor health even when people have access to good health care. The nation's lagging health burdens businesses, communities, and families, these reports note.

    The roundtable will engage roundtable members and outside experts, practitioners, and stakeholders on 3 core issues:

    1. supporting fruitful interaction between primary care and public health
    2. strengthening governmental public health
    3. exploring community action in transforming the conditions that influence the public's health

    IOM hosts more than a dozen roundtables and forums, providing a neutral setting for diverse groups of individuals to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern and gain fresh insights and new understanding. A list of individuals who serve on the roundtable can be found on IOM's website

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