Rebecca Flournoy, MPH

Senior Health Policy Leader

I work collaboratively with leaders across Kaiser Permanente and other institutions to track health policy developments, strategize about opportunities, conduct research, and share information and recommendations.  It’s great to be able to share what Kaiser Permanente is learning, as a health system innovator, to help policymakers develop effective, equitable, and sustainable policy solutions for the future.

Policy expertise

Health equity, community health, healthy food access, civic engagement, affordable housing, economic and workforce development.

Health care trends I’m watching

Social determinants of health will continue to have a huge influence on public health outcomes, and I’m interested in the ways that health systems are supporting efforts to address these factors.  I appreciate Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to health equity as a core value, and I’ve been excited about the organization’s work in this area, such as our investments in affordable housing.

Aging is another trend I’m watching.  As the number of seniors increases in the coming decade, there’s both a huge need and a tremendous opportunity to develop new ways to support people in healthy aging.  I loved Atul Gawande’s thought-provoking book, Being Mortal, and his discussion of what healthy aging might mean and the ways health systems could better support this goal.

A third trend I’m watching is how technological innovation is changing our healthcare experiences. Technology can promote healthy lifestyles, make it easier to get healthcare services in a convenient way, and improve care delivery as providers identify trends and effective approaches.  Public policy plays an important role in expanding access to these innovations in ways that work well for consumers.

Professional accomplishments

I bring more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors.  While working at PolicyLink, I co-led a policy advocacy campaign that resulted in more than $160 million in grants and more than $1 billion in private sector investments to help community leaders develop grocery stores and markets in underserved low-income communities.  As an advocate, I’ve analyzed needs and opportunities, strategized with partners, drafted legislation, created policy briefs, managed coalitions, and met with legislators, agency leaders, and White House staff.   I’ve also conducted research and presented findings at conferences, and I’ve developed policy reports on health policy topics and published articles in Health Affairs, Public Health Reports, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and the Journal of Public Health Management and PracticeMy philanthropic experience includes working with grant-making committees, vetting grantees, developing grant guidelines, launching new programs, and evaluating philanthropic initiatives.

Interests and experience

I’ve done policy advocacy at city, state, and federal levels.  I’m a big believer in helping people make their voices heard, particularly people who aren’t used to sharing their views with policymakers.  I’ve conducted many policy advocacy trainings over the years, and I’ve also designed and analyzed public opinion surveys and focus groups while working at the Kaiser Family Foundation and as a consultant.

Across multiple positions, health equity has been an important part of my work — promoting the idea that where you live affects your health and that we all benefit when everyone can live healthy, productive, fulfilling lives.  In projects to address racial and economic inequities, I’ve worked on healthy food access, indoor and outdoor air quality, affordable housing, public transit and health, and economic and workforce development.

Education

  • Master of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill