Nov 17, 2015

Post-Summit Campaign Update With Q&A

Dear Action Coalition members and Campaign friends:

Thank you to those of you who spent several days last week to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Summit 2015. It was an invigorating meeting at which we began discussing the Institute of Medicine’s updated recommendations to accelerate progress, and infusing the Campaign with a vision by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to align our work with more stakeholders to help build a Culture of Health.

For those who did not attend, we would like to explain what we see as the lessons learned from the Summit and next steps, and point you to resources that speakers offered as well as videos, photos, and links to information from the meeting.

Five hundred people attended the Summit’s first day to hear keynote speaker Victor J. Dzau, MD, president of the National Academy of Medicine, present the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations from the recent impact study conducted on the Future of Nursing report. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also addressed the Campaign’s progress, and transitioned into nurses’ roles in building a Culture of Health.

The message we emphasized throughout, and that we believe many Action Coalition members came to understand, is that much of our work already fits into the framework of a Culture of Health, and that our goal is to continue leading change and advancing health by building on the IOM recommendations.

We will continue to work on the Campaign “pillars”—removing barriers to practice and care; increasing diversity in nursing; transforming nursing education; bolstering workforce data; and advancing nursing leadership—with the goal of advancing health and building healthier communities. That was our original vision and will continue to be so.

In coming months, the Campaign will host a series of webinars to help you develop plans and goals to integrate a Culture of Health into the work you are already doing, and cultivate new stakeholders. While you heard that RWJF will not renew grant programs like the State Implementation Program (SIP), infusing a Culture of Health into our work opens the door for many new funding opportunities, both within and outside of RWJF, and the Campaign intends to help you seek those funds. Some Action Coalitions have already applied for some Culture of Health money from RWJF.

We have begun posting photos, videos, and resources shared at the Summit, and will add more in the coming weeks.

We look forward to working with you on this next phase of the Campaign.

We want to address some questions we have heard since the Summit, in hopes of squelching misinformation that may circulate.

Q: Is the Campaign ending?

A: No! The Campaign is celebrating its fifth anniversary and is looking ahead to a healthy future. The Culture of Health, far from replacing the Campaign, brings a fresh perspective to the Campaign’s ongoing mission to build a healthier America through nursing. What the Culture of Health stands for is not even truly new to the field of nursing, as many at the Summit came to understand. As one nurse put it, “We’ve been taking these actions for years, but never had a name for it.”

The Campaign will stay focused on the IOM recommendations as it continues to incorporate the principles of the Culture of Health in its work. Conversely, we are better prepared to build a Culture of Health by addressing the IOM recommendations.

Q: Practically speaking, does the Culture of Health change what we are doing, and if so, how?

A: The Culture of Health provides a broader context for what many Action Coalitions already do.

As RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said, “When I talk about building a Culture of Health, we are talking about nurses…. So much of what you do is building a Culture of Health.”

Much of the Summit was focused on this very question, to help Action Coalitions recognize how their work already fits into a Culture of Health and to get ideas from other states. We’ll keep you updated on these ideas and actions from around the country. It does mean that the Action Coalitions should identify ways in which they are already addressing factors that contribute to a person’s and community’s health—including access, education, health literacy, mental health and trauma, and neighborhood safety—and get more involved in such efforts. Nurses know how to help people stay healthy in a multitude of ways, and we encourage you to expand the ways you work on that. That means connecting with others in your state, including joining forces with other coalitions and organizations as well as inviting them to work with you.

Q: I heard you say that RWJF will not offer new funding for the State Implementation Program (SIP) and for Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN). How can we do this work without funding? 

A: It is true that there will be no new funding for SIP and APIN. But Action Coalitions launched this work prior to receiving funding and have since raised more than $17 million outside of RWJF dollars. Simply put, you can do this, and we can help! There are many funding opportunities for our work both within and outside of RWJF, and the Campaign will help connect you with them. A majority of you still have SIP and APIN funding, and now is a great time to continue to secure funds to match these RWJF dollars. You have a great brand behind you with RWJF and AARP and now is the time to build on that brand.

Q: What does “Culture of Health” mean?

A: A Culture of Health places well-being at the center of every aspect of life. The movement came about as an answer to one key question: What can we do to achieve the best health possible in this country? The answers are in four interconnected areas.

  • Making health a shared value
  • Fostering cross-sector collaboration
  • Creating healthier, more equitable communities
  • Strengthening integration of health services and systems

The outcome: improved population health, well-being, and equity. (RWJF refers to these interconnected areas as its action framework.) The emphasis on well-being and equity as key aspects of good health can mean greater potential for collaboration with many community partners, and stronger ties with workforce centers. Again, quoting Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey: “We need a vibrant nursing profession for a Culture of Health, for improving community health.”

Q: How does the Culture of Health fit in with the Institute of Medicine recommendations? 

A: The recommendations are a map, and the Culture of Health a compass, is how Alexia Green, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-founder of the Texas Action Coalition, also known as Team Texas, put it in her presentation.

And as Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey said: “What if each nurse in this room today became the champion of such an effort in his or her community? What if school nurses banded together with occupational health nurses and acute care nurses and public health nurses—and led efforts to work with businesses, urban planners, city governments, and more to make their communities a healthier place? That’s why it’s so important that we continue forward motion on the 2010 recommendations, including, as the Academy said, ‘preparing and enabling nurses to lead change to advance health.’ Nurses who have—like most of you in this room—committed themselves to lifelong learning and interprofessional collaboration will be unstoppable. And positive change would be inevitable.”

Q: How can I explain this to would-be funders and our current partners?

A: At the suggestion of several Summit participants, we are creating a graphic you can distribute to illustrate the synthesis of the Campaign and the Culture of Health. Meanwhile, you can find an inspiring illustration on our website—an 8-foot banner that an artist drew in real time that reflects dozens of ideas nurse leaders had at the Summit for how nursing fits the Culture of Health.

Q: What are next steps for integrating a Culture of Health into our work? 

A: We hope that you or someone from your Action Coalition was at the Summit and participated in conversations designed to get you thinking about how and where to start. If you missed it, please visit our Summit website to see the slides and other resources. Also, the Campaign will soon announce dates for those webinars mentioned above.

As always, stay up to date about Campaign offerings by visiting this link to join our listserv and subscribe to the Weekly Update and our quarterly newsletter. You can also learn more about building a Culture of Health by visiting the RWJF website Also sign up for funding opportunities with RWJF as well as all the foundations in your state, and government sites as well, such as the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Thanks again, and we look forward to working with you.

Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Adviser for Nursing,
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action 
Susan C. Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President and Director,
AARP Public Policy Institute
Chief Strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in America