Culture Of Health


Health Affairs issue on the Culture of Health, November 2016.
Submit abstracts no later than March 28, 2016 by e-mail to
(see submission requirements below and see FAQs for additional information)


In 2014 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced its Culture of Health initiative, which promotes health, well-being, and equity as national priorities. The goal is to encourage behavior and policies that enhance opportunities for individuals to lead healthier lives. The initiative identifies roles for individuals, communities, commercial entities, and public policy that extend beyond the reach of medical care into sectors not traditionally associated with health, and encourages a comprehensive vision for health promotion through cross-sector collaboration.

Health Affairs is planning a theme issue in November 2016 that will explore various aspects of the Culture of Health. We plan to publish 15-20 peer-reviewed articles including research, analyses, and commentaries from leading researchers and scholars, analysts, industry experts, and health and health care stakeholders.

The issue will include overview papers that provide the rationale and evidence base for the four action areas spelled out in the Foundation’s Action Framework: 1. Making Health a Shared Value, 2. Fostering Cross-Sector Collaboration to Improve Well-Being, 3. Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities, 4. Strengthening Integration of Health Services and Systems. We will also consider commentaries from leading thinkers representing different viewpoints.

In filling out the issue, we are particularly interested in empirical analyses that will shed light on specific dimensions of this approach to health improvement. We will consider new empirical studies, review/synthesis pieces, case studies, and analyses of state and local or private sector initiatives. We are also interested in global learning, and encourage authors to submit work presenting lessons from abroad.


We invite all interested authors to submit abstracts for consideration for this issue. Editors will review the abstracts and, for those that best fit our vision and goals, invite authors to submit papers for consideration for the issue.
In order to be considered, abstracts must be submitted by 11:59PM EST, March 28, 2016. We regret that we will not be able to consider any abstracts submitted after that date.


The editors will evaluate submitted abstracts and, in mid-April, will invite authors of selected abstracts to submit their work for consideration for the issue. Invited papers will be due at the journal by June 6, 2016.

Following submission, invited papers will be subjected to peer review in June and July 2016, with revision beginning in July and running through September. Copyediting and production for the issue will take place in October 2016, with publication scheduled for November 2016.Topics of interest include the following:

• Measuring receptivity to and readiness for a Culture of Health ethos among individuals, communities, the corporate sector (as employers and corporate entities), and public policy (local, state, federal) by exploring issues surrounding

    - Behaviors related to and attitudes toward health promotion and disease prevention
    - Prioritizing and investing in health promotion and disease prevention
    - Health promotion partnerships, civic engagement, social capital, etc.
    - Changing behaviors and attitudes at the individual, community, corporate, and public policy levels

• Drivers and determinants of health--measuring and understanding relative contributions of different influences
    - Public health interventions
    - Environmental factors
    - Socioeconomic factors
    - Community and cultural factors
    - Medical care

• Exploring the role of various sectors and activities in promoting health and documenting and analyzing collaborative approaches that emphasize health as a driving factor in public and private behavior
    - Housing, Transportation, Urban planning
    - Economic and community development
    - Education
    - Justice and public safety
    - Tax policy
    - Corporations as employers, producers of goods and service that influence health, and as corporate "citizens"

• Achieving health equity
    - The role of race/ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, and other factors in the ability to attain health goals and achieve positive health outcomes
    - Evaluating approaches designed to achieve health equity

• Improving medical care and broadening the focus of the medical care system
    - Improving efficiency and effectiveness of care through integration across specialties and functions
    - Reducing inappropriate care
    - Policies that support transforming the care system to incorporate prevention, health promotion, and social and family supports
    - Effective use of clinical and non-clinical workforce to address complex social and medical needs

• Measurement challenges and how to overcome them
    - Measuring individual and community wellbeing
    - Measuring the existence and effectiveness of cross-sector collaborations for health
    - Measuring resources devoted to health and wellbeing
    - Linking interventions to outcomes

First-person narratives that touch on these themes would also be of interest for consideration for our Narrative Matters section.

The list above is a guide and highlights a number of priority areas, but it is not exhaustive. We welcome submissions on complementary and related topics, as well.


Abstract submissions should not exceed 500 words, and should include (in this order): proposed title, author names and affiliations, abstract, name and contact information for the corresponding author below the abstract. Please consult our online guidelines for additional formatting instructions and answers to frequently asked questions:

If you wish to submit an abstract, please send it as an e-mail attachment to

We thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to pass this invitation along to colleagues who might be interested, as well.
If you have questions about this request, please e-mail