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Accelerating Implementation Of CDC’s 6|18 Initiative At The State Level

This week, the CDC Foundation, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Grantmakers In Health (GIH), hosted a cross-sector convening as a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 6|18 Initiative. Representatives from philanthropies and public health organizations met over two days in Atlanta for a collaborative dialogue on how philanthropy might intersect with public health needs to accelerate implementation of CDC’s 6|18 Initiative at the state level.

The 6|18 Initiative describes CDC’s prioritization of six high-burden health conditions—tobacco use, high blood pressure, healthcare-associated infections, asthma, unintended pregnancies and diabetes—and an initial 18 evidence-based interventions to improve health and control health costs. Through generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Center for Health Care Strategies, nine state Medicaid Agency-Public Health teams have begun implementation of the 6|18 Initiative by aligning evidence-based preventative practices with emerging value-based payment and delivery models. Despite early successes, the pace at which states implement recommended interventions is often limited by budget and staffing constraints, creating an opportunity for effective philanthropic support.

Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, addressed representatives from philanthropies, organizations representing Medicaid and public health agencies, and six of the nine state teams currently implementing 6|18—Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

In her remarks, Dr. Monroe emphasized that “Public-private partnerships allow for the effective use of public health resources, since these partnerships build upon the public health infrastructure already in place. This collaboration is about the sharing of different perspectives and different areas of expertise that partners bring to the table.”

Paul Kuehnert, DNP, associate vice president of programs at RWJF, and Faith Mitchell, PhD, president and CEO of GIH, also shared their perspectives on the role philanthropy can play in driving public health outcomes. Panelists representing local and national foundations provided experiences of working with the public sector and cited examples of successful public-private partnerships.

"This collaboration is about the sharing of different perspectives and different areas of expertise that partners bring to the table."

At the convening, representatives from public health agencies discussed effective implementation of 6|18 interventions within each of their states and the partnerships that were necessary for success. CDC content leaders joined collaborative break-out conversations on the 6|18-identified health conditions and provided additional subject matter expertise. In concluding the two-day convening, attendees brainstormed extensively about next steps to be taken by the private and public sectors to improve health and control health care costs through accelerating implementation of the 6|18 Initiative at the state level. Follow up with participating states and philanthropies will be conducted over the next five months to better understand the impact of meeting together to share ideas about potential ways to work together.

A special thanks to all participants for joining the CDC Foundation and committing to continue collaborative conversations in states across the country.

For more information about the CDC Foundation’s work with CDC’s 6|18 initiative, please contact Alison Thompson at

To learn more about CDC’s 6|18 Initiative, visit

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