About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • The Role and Potential of Communities in Improving ... Released: September 04, 2014
    The April 10, 2014, workshop, titled The Role and Potential of Communities in Improving Population Health, was designed to facilitate discussion about important ingredients, effective strategies, and other lessons learned in three contexts: youth organizing, community organizing or other types of community participation, and partnerships between community and institutional actors (e.g., universities, public health agencies).
  • The Role and Potential of Communities in Improving ... Released: September 04, 2014
    The April 10, 2014, workshop, titled The Role and Potential of Communities in Improving Population Health, was designed to facilitate discussion about important ingredients, effective strategies, and other lessons learned in three contexts: youth organizing, community organizing or other types of community participation, and partnerships between community and institutional actors (e.g., universities, public health agencies).
  • Financing Population Health Improvement - Workshop ... Released: July 28, 2014
    The Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a public workshop on February 6, 2014 to explore the range of resources that might be available to provide a secure funding stream for non-clinical actions to enhance health. The workshop featured a number of presentations and discussions, beginning with an overview of the range of potential resources (for example, financial, human, and community) and followed by an in-depth exploration of several dimensions related to financial resources. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity ... Released: June 18, 2014
    On December 5, 2013, the IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities co-sponsored a workshop to explore the history of social movements, both those that are health-related and those that are not primarily focused on health. The objective was to learn and discuss lessons that may be applied by those who are working to improve health and health equity in U.S. communities. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Supporting a Movement for Health and Health Equity ... Released: June 18, 2014
    On December 5, 2013, the IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and the Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities co-sponsored a workshop to explore the history of social movements, both those that are health-related and those that are not primarily focused on health. The objective was to learn and discuss lessons that may be applied by those who are working to improve health and health equity in U.S. communities. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Identifying and Reducing Environmental Health Risks of ... Released: April 29, 2014
    The IOM’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop to discuss approaches related to identifying and reducing potential environmental public health risks to new and existing industrial chemicals. Speakers at the workshop examined successes and areas for improvement within current regulatory programs for assessing industrial chemical safety, frameworks for chemical prioritization to inform targeted testing and risk management strategies, concepts of sustainability and green chemistry that support the design and use of safer alternatives, and efforts to reduce the risk of chemicals in our society.
  • Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains in Electronic Health ... Released: April 08, 2014
    Traditionally, research and interventions on social and behavioral determinants of health have largely been the purview of public health which has focused on disease prevention and maintenance of the public’s health. Health care systems, in contrast, have focused primarily on the treatment of disease in individual patients, and, until recently, social determinants of health have not been linked to clinical practice or health care delivery systems. Electronic health records (EHRs) provide crucial information to providers treating individual patients, to health systems about the health of populations, and to researchers about the determinants of health and the effectiveness of treatments. The IOM was asked to form a committee to identify domains and measures that capture the social determinants of health to inform the development of recommendations for meaningful use of EHRs. This Phase 1 report is the first of two reports by the IOM committee.
  • Health Literacy and Numeracy - Workshop Summary : Health ... Released: April 03, 2014
    Although health literacy is commonly defined as an individual trait, it does not depend on the skills of individuals alone. Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals’ capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system. Specifically, the ability to understand, evaluate, and use numbers is important to making informed health care choices. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy commissioned a paper on numeracy skills and hosted a workshop that featured the presentation of the paper by its authors. Speakers at the workshop discussed a number of topics related to numeracy, including the effects of ill health on cognitive capacity, issues with communication of health information to the public, and communicating numeric information for decision making.
  • Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health ... Released: March 27, 2014
    Health is influenced by a variety of factors, many of which fall outside the health care delivery sector. These determinants of health include the characteristics of where people live, work, learn, and play. Decision and policy making in areas such as transportation, housing, and education at different levels of government, as well as in the private sector, can have far-reaching impacts on health. There has been increasing dialogue on incorporating a health perspective into policies, programs, and projects outside the health field. The IOM held a workshop to foster cross-sectoral dialogue and to consider the opportunities for and barriers to improving the conditions for health in the course of achieving other sectors’ objectives, such as economic development and efficient public transit.
  • Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and ... Released: February 20, 2014
    Humans rely on the natural environment – such as oceans and coastal waters – for essential human services like providing food and essential dietary nutrients and purifying drinking water. These benefits are referred to as ecosystem services. Humans also rely on the environment for the natural cycles that renew the oxygen in the air, reduce carbon dioxide in the air, and recycle nitrogen. Disruption to these processes can create negative human health effects. The IOM held a workshop to discuss coastal waters and ocean ecosystem services in the United States and to understand the impacts on human health.