Aspen Health Strategies Group Big Ideas

What is the Aspen Health Strategy Group?

The Aspen Health Strategy Group is part of the Health, Medicine and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. Co-chaired by former US Health and Human Services Secretary and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and former Senator and US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, our 20 members are senior leaders across influential sectors: health, business, media, technology and more.

We Need Your Big Ideas on Incarceration and Health

Health care and health outcomes of incarcerated people in the US are under reported and poorly understood. With over two million people behind bars, the United States has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world (Prison Policy Initiative). Incarcerated people face higher rates of infectious disease, mental health problems, sexual assault, violence, and substance use and addiction (American Academy of Family Physicians). The families of those incarcerated and the communities in which they live face negative health impacts as well. Incarceration and health—the health issues related to incarcerated people and the health impact of high rates of incarceration on communities in the US is a systems-level health justice issue that disproportionately affects communities of color.

Why Do We Need Your Big Ideas?

As leaders, policymakers, health care workers, and researchers across the country confront the challenge of meeting the health needs of this large portion of society, the Aspen Health Strategy Group will bring together high-ranking, creative thinkers across sectors to join this search for answers, lessons, and action.

What’s a Big Idea?

A useful big idea will be specific about what should happen and who should do it.  It will provide a rationale for the action and describe what would happen if it were implemented. Source documents, background research and cost estimates are optional, but they will help make your case.

They should be “big” – as in meaningful and bold – and “ideas” as in reflecting thought and not just an exhortation that someone do something they should be doing already. Ideas will be judged on creativity, feasibility and the completeness of details around rationale and potential consequences. You can view samples of big ideas here.

How Will the Ideas Be Used?

Our broad, public call for ideas will last until Wednesday, June 16th.  The AHSG staff and members will select up to five that will be described in a paper that will be prepared later in the year.  Due to the expected volume of submissions, the likelihood we will receive multiple submissions that present variations on a single theme, and the possibility that the AHSG members will wish to modify or combine submissions into a single idea, we will give credit to the authors of the selected ideas whenever and wherever they are presented, but we are unable to offer any other form of recognition.  We hope that this unique opportunity to promote and advance your big idea is sufficient reward.