Anne Walton RN, AE-C joined the NMMHP in July 2020 as Secretary of the Board. Anne has a long history of working in academic research on projects that promote health equity for at risk groups including pediatric asthma and elders. As clinical coordinator & project manager, her work has focused on improving health outcomes by addressing unmet needs related to the social determinants of health, working within a community health worker model of care. She is a proponent of Motivational Interviewing and Appreciative Inquiry as tools to facilitate change in health behaviors. She serves as a training consultant to the Boston Public Health Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is a past board member of the Association of Asthma Educators.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Americans today?
Creating a system of health equity is one of the biggest challenges we face moving forward. The Affordable Care Act offers the opportunity to reduce health disparities by promoting access to services beyond healthcare. By focusing on and addressing needs related to the social determinants of health we have an opportunity to identify what drives healthcare utilization and address the root causes of illness. Treating the whole person involves not only ensuring access to primary health care but access to behavioral health services, economic stability, food security, and affordable housing. Not until we make a commitment to expand health care to all and address social disparities will we begin to narrow the gap toward health equity.