Collaborative Short-Term Action to Advance America's Health

Collaborative Short-Term Action to Advance America's Health. Issue Brief. National Academy of Medicine; Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy.

Issue Brief

Collaborative Short-Term Action to Advance America's Health

Published date

February 26, 2024

The National Academy of Medicine and Duke-Margolis have published this issue brief as the first step in an initiative to address the most pressing challenges in reinvigorating public health and the sector’s collaboration with health care organizations. 



Progress on America’s health has been challenging, despite access to better tools and capabilities to improve health than ever before. The United States has world-leading diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines; increasingly rich and interoperable electronic health data to help patients stay healthier; and many innovative efforts by health care organizations to strengthen primary and preventive care, including care provided at home. Yet, American life expectancy has declined and many health disparities have widened in recent years, alongside rising health care spending with growing challenges in affordability and access. Health care workers are also reporting more burnout and attrition than ever before.

It is time for a more collaborative path forward on improving the nation’s health. In this issue brief preview of a new initiative on Collaborative Action for America’s Health—supported by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy (DM), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—we outline a set of feasible, meaningful collaborative action steps across health care, public health, and community supports to improve our nation’s capacity to help Americans stay healthy. These action steps, expanded upon in a forthcoming NAM Perspectives commentary, advance the longer-term goal of bringing together public, private, and community organizations with health care systems and public health agencies to strengthen the nation’s public health capabilities.

We focus on two specific areas of short-term action: (1) strengthening protections for individuals and communities from the complications and disruptions of respiratory infections and (2) preventing overdose deaths and other complications of opioid use disorder (OUD). We outline how federal agencies can collaborate to support evidence-based, short-term actions by health care, public health, and community organizations across the nation, largely with existing authorities. Our goal is measurable progress toward improving the nation’s health within the next 18 months and providing a foundation for further progress.


Read the full issue brief here. This publication was released in conjunction with the event, "Collaborative Action for America's Health: Short- and Long-Term Strategies Across Public Health, Health Systems, and Social Services."