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Milken Institute Public Health: Q4 2023 Newsletter

Milken Institute Public Health: Q4 2023

In This Issue

Future of Health Summit Recap
Programs at a Glance
Milken Institute Public Health Team in the Community
What’s Ahead
Connect with Us

Future of Health Summit Recap

Our Public Health team was delighted to see many of you in person at the Future of Health Summit, where our team led seven public panels covering a wide range of topics, as well as an invite-only session on the role of employers in advancing whole-person health. To read the full panel descriptions and watch the recordings of our public panels, click the links below.

Programs at a Glance

Mental Health

The Milken Institute Public Health portfolio includes a variety of mental health-focused projects. Most involve working with employers, particularly their role in prioritizing mental health, including substance use disorders, as part of a whole-person approach to total well-being. Some of this work entails private, invite-only forums, survey work, and deliverables focused on achieving better mental health through health-technology investment and innovation. We are pleased to share updates below on our active projects.

Mental Health Treatment Innovation Project

In the US, more than 50 percent of people will be diagnosed with a mental health condition or disorder at some point in their lifetime. Current mental health treatments do not match the growing demand for innovative, comprehensive care that appeals to a variety of people with mental health conditions.

This spring, in partnership with Cybin, we began a Mental Health Treatment Innovation Project that touches upon the importance of treatment and medications to be innovative, customizable, scalable, and accessible. This topic was discussed as part of the “Revolutionizing Mental Health Care through Innovation” panel at the Future of Health Summit, and we look forward to sharing the findings from our project in a white paper in Q1 2024.

Employee Mental Health Concerns and Workplace Solutions Project

In partnership with The Hartford, this summer and fall, the Public Health team hosted three sessions as part of the “Closing the Gap: Learning, Listening, and Exploration” series. These invite-only roundtables involved data-driven discussions addressing mental health priorities and challenges in the workplace. We’ve created summaries with insights and actions from the first session, focused on Next Gen Mental Health Concerns and Workplace Solutions, and the second session, focused on Belongingness as a Tenet of Workplace Mental Health. Stay tuned to our LinkedIn account for highlights from the final convening, which focused on ways employers can support caregivers of youth with mental health conditions.

Employer Executive Insights on Whole-Person Health Interview Series

This LinkedIn article series features brief, meaningful insights on the importance of employers investing in human capital and adopting and modeling a whole-person health approach, captured through interviews between MI Health Senior Director Sabrina Spitaletta and executives across industries and sectors. Below are links to interviews we’ve published this fall. Follow us on LinkedIn to catch future installments!

Employer Investments in Health Tech Innovation for Substance Use Disorders

The Public Health team conducted a series of discussions to capture lessons learned, barriers of entry or success, and ways to embed evidence-based research and outcomes into digital health tools offered by employers to address substance use disorders. Our team identified actionable ways to effectively incorporate evidence-based, employer-provided digital health tools for substance use disorders. We look forward to sharing insights and findings in a report scheduled to be published in Q1 2024.

Prevention and Chronic Disease

The Public Health team launched two projects this fall that leverage employers to advance broader public health improvement goals for communities and individuals. With 160 million Americans receiving health insurance through their workplace, employers are uniquely positioned to drive innovations in health quality, affordability, and equity that can improve the health outcomes of their employees.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Project

Employers with sizable workforces are taking action to offer better health care to employees and their families. As part of this effort, the Public Health team has partnered with Morgan Health, a health-care innovation unit within JPMorgan Chase, to survey key leaders on the current landscape and attitudes surrounding employer-sponsored health insurance. A final report with aggregated results will be released in Q1 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, please email Sarah Wells Kocsis.

Employer Investments in Management and Care of Obesity Project

The Public Health team is exploring ways employers can be a catalyst in modernizing and reforming the management and care of obesity as a recognized chronic disease. Through this work, we seek to understand the business and economic case for employers to invest in and implement public health strategies. On December 8, the Public Health team convened a roundtable with diverse thought leaders to uncover opportunities for employers to correct obesity disparities, stigma, and bias, and advance whole-person care through primary prevention, behavioral therapy, medication, and surgical intervention. Insights and recommendations from this roundtable will be highlighted in a forthcoming “how-to guide for employers” for release in 2024.

Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Panel at Milken Institute Middle East and Africa Summit

During the Middle East and Africa Summit, the Public Health team invited experts to speak on a panel titled “Building a Trusted Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Supply Chain.” This panel explored how nontraditional partners can bridge access gaps, regions can be treated more equitably, what lessons can be learned from just-in-time versus just-in-case operations, and how trust can be built throughout the health-care supply chain to promote the regulatory transparency that is critical to national security, public health, and safety. Milken Institute Director of Research Maggie Switek moderated the panel.

Health Equity

Health Equity Advisory Panel Updates

Over the summer, the Health Equity Advisory Panel identified its first task: to contribute to the literature and discussion in public health in two areas. The group divided into two subcommittees for these publications and their foci—health equity and social migration in response to policies that affect not only reproductive choices but also access to care and medications for those who are transgender or who have differences of sex development (also known as DSD or intersex).

The Health Equity Working Group, a subcommittee of the Health Equity Advisory Panel, published the piece “Health Equity Is Not Health Equality” in October. In that piece, the group highlighted several themes echoed in the “Making Health Equity Actionable” panel at the Future of Health Summit. The cost of ongoing health inequities and health disparities is unsustainable. The populations that bear much of the economic brunt of these disparity effects include those with limited education and Asian Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, whose poor health outcomes are often diluted by including them under the broader category of Asians.

The next publication that is in progress focuses on the effects of state reproductive health policies that are driving social migration. With increasing family migrations, as well as relocations of people who are transgender, it will be important to examine the short and potential longer-term effects of these policies that are driving a second major migration in the US. Be sure to follow our LinkedIn account for the latest updates!

Women’s Health Innovation Opportunity Map

In July, MI Health Senior Director of Health Equity Victoria Cargill, MD, served on the steering committee and took part in the Innovation Equity Forum, a group of over 250 women’s health stakeholders, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health. The resulting report, the Women’s Health Innovation Opportunity Map, was published in October and details topics, opportunities, and solutions to improve women's health.

Milken Institute Public Health Team in the Community

We are delighted that members of our Public Health team and Advisory Board have been recognized externally and have taken part in speaking engagements.

October 2023

November 2023

  • Senior Director Victoria Cargill, MD delivered the keynote address at the Maryland Department of Health Statewide HIV Conference.

  • Cargill participated in the taping of a video documentary about the response to the HIV epidemic in Cleveland, Ohio, where she created and expanded an AIDS education and risk reduction program for urban at-risk teens called Stopping AIDS Is My Mission. Over 100,000 teens were reached during the program’s tenure.

  • Advisory Board member Gary Puckrein, MD, authored an op-ed on Medicaid’s proposed price rule that appeared in the Boston Herald.

  • National Minority Quality Forum, led by Puckrein, announced a collaboration with the CEO Roundtable on Cancer to bring President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot to communities that have been marginalized by discrimination and poverty through the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative.

  • Advisory Board member Megan Ranney, MD, co-authored an op-ed on how to rebuild trust in science, featured on

December 2023

  • Director Jason Richie spoke about the role of employers in advancing whole-person health during a panel titled “The Evolution and Progress of Integrated Models of Care–A Multistakeholder Approach to Building an Improved Mental Health Ecosystem” at the Advancing Behavioral Health and Policy Summit.

  • Cargill moderated a panel at the Johns Hopkins Center for Infectious Disease and Nursing Innovation on World AIDS Day, December 1. The topic was “Making Health Equity Actionable: Our Commitment to Ending HIV in Baltimore.”

What’s Ahead

Upcoming Milken Institute Events

Mark your calendars! Our Global Conference will take place May 5-8, 2024, in Beverly Hills, California.

Connect with Us

Check out our LinkedIn for regular updates about our publications, upcoming events, and other related news!