Forward Solutions

Forward Solutions We infuse high-level research and development, cradle to grave contract management, premier leadership, and top-level human capital- we help organizations analyze their challenges to make wise decisions that enable them to meet their goals.

We are accomplished at providing strategic and technical guidance, designing and implementing evidence-based interventions, and advancing sound public policy—all to improve public health outcomes and foster social change. Forward Solutions seeks to serve national and local non-profits, state and federal government agencies, and community action agencies looking to improve the quality of life for t

We are accomplished at providing strategic and technical guidance, designing and implementing evidence-based interventions, and advancing sound public policy—all to improve public health outcomes and foster social change. Forward Solutions seeks to serve national and local non-profits, state and federal government agencies, and community action agencies looking to improve the quality of life for t

Operating as usual

Forward Solutions's cover photo
08/26/2018

Forward Solutions's cover photo

05/22/2018
Introduction - RWJF Awards for Health Equity

A few years ago, Forward Solutions partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a national health equity awards program that acknowledged organizations advancing systems change to achieve health equity. Check out this video to see the outcome! #healthequity #healthdisparities

The RWJF Awards for Health Equity recognize and celebrate individuals who have successfully implemented systems changes related to the determinants of health...

"...this morning when I learned of the death of the legendary Craig Mack, I felt a sense of sadness as if I had lost a c...
03/13/2018
Craig Mack’s Death and death of hip-hop

"...this morning when I learned of the death of the legendary Craig Mack, I felt a sense of sadness as if I had lost a childhood friend. "

Please check out my new piece on the legendary Craig Mack's death. His death is a forceful reminder of the vulnerabilities of black men. #blackmen #publichealth #emotionalhealth #wellness #mentalhealth #craigmack #hiphop

Yesterday, I asked my son to join me in my home office as I made my final push to make my Monday count. He asked me about the music I was listening to on Pandora. I was enjoying to Hal and Oats. It is one of my favorite stations. I told him, I liked it

According to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C., overall opioid overdose deaths among black men betw...
03/12/2018
The Opioid Crisis' 'Frightening' Jump To Black, Urban Areas | WAMU

According to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C., overall opioid overdose deaths among black men between the ages of 40 and 69 increased 245 percent from 2014 to 2017.

Opioid overdose deaths among middle-aged black men have increased 245 percent in the past three years in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Dedner’s piece, “The #1 Challenge for Black Men: Maintaining emotional and mental health,” was picked up by YourBl...
02/13/2018
Kevin Dedner: The #1 Challenge for Black Men: Maintaining Emotional and Mental Health - Your Black World

Kevin Dedner’s piece, “The #1 Challenge for Black Men: Maintaining emotional and mental health,” was picked up by YourBlackWorld.net. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

By Kevin Dedner, MPH A few days ago, I pulled together a focus group of black men together in Washington, DC for a discussion around the importance of self-care and mental health. With very little notice, the men came from all walks of life. They were generally middle-aged men. At the beginning of t...

"The idea that black men are willing to forgo their well-being hiding behind an idea of black masculinity isn't true."I ...
02/08/2018
The #1 Challenge for Black Men: Maintaining emotional and mental health

"The idea that black men are willing to forgo their well-being hiding behind an idea of black masculinity isn't true."

I just penned a piece on what I believe to be the #1 challenge for black men: maintaining emotional and mental health. Please check it out and share it with others. #mentalhealth #blackmen #publichealth #mentalhealthawareness #prevention #wellbeing #emotionalhealth #sucideprevention #stress #anxiety

Kevin Dedner, MPH A few days ago, I pulled together a focus group of black men together in Washington, DC for a discussion around the importance of self-care and mental health. With very little notice, the men came from all walks of life. They were generally middle-aged men. At the beginning of the....

I spent the morning with the Rapid Response Team of Heart to Hand, Inc. We are mounting a response to the increase of HI...
02/01/2018

I spent the morning with the Rapid Response Team of Heart to Hand, Inc. We are mounting a response to the increase of HIV/AIDS cases in Prince George's County, MD. We are using the design thinking methodology to inform our outreach and prevention efforts. #designthinking #publichealth #hiv/aids #hearttohand #forwardsolutions #healthinnovation

Forward Solutions's cover photo
02/01/2018

Forward Solutions's cover photo

11/22/2017
"Basically what we have found is that discrimination is a type of stressful life experience that has negative effects on...
10/31/2017
Racism Is Literally Bad For Your Health

"Basically what we have found is that discrimination is a type of stressful life experience that has negative effects on health similar to other kinds of stressful experiences." #health #racism #stress #discrimination #publichealth

Racism affects health outcomes, a new report finds. "The day-to-day little indignities" can negatively impact people's physical health, Harvard researcher David Williams says.

Public Health Institute
10/31/2017

Public Health Institute

UPDATE: Last week, in a vote of 242-174, the House passed the Championing Healthy Kids Act (HR 3922, formerly the CHAMPION Act) to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and extend funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs). The bill included $6.35 billion in cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, including a $400 million cut in FY19. We are disappointed as any cuts would impact health and wellness programs across the country. The final roll call vote is here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll606.xml

The bill now heads to the Senate, which already has its own bipartisan version of a bill to reauthorize CHIP and CHCs but it does not include offsets. We are hopeful the Senate will keep the Prevention Fund out of their bill, as last week 22 Senators signed a letter to senate leadership opposing cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund. However the more this bill gets delayed the higher chance it has of ending up in an end-of-the-year funding package, which could also include cuts to the Prevention Fund. We’ll keep you informed as things move forward.
________________

This Friday the House votes, and health loses, no matter what. That's because the CHAMPION Act pits two really important health provisions against each other: they want to take away 75% of the Prevention and Public Health Fund in order to fund community health centers. But we need both. Can you call your member at (202) 224-3121 and tell them, Yes on Health, NO on the CHAMPION Act?

And share this post so your friends can act, too. The CHAMPION Act would cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund by $10.5 billion. That's $10.5 billion that wouldn't get spent on vaccinations, chronic disease prevention or infectious disease detection and prevention. Find out more at bit.ly/ProtectHealthNow

[Image description: kids on play structure, with words "Tell the House, Yes on Health, NO on Champion Act. Call (202) 224-3121 now. See bit.ly/ProtectHealthNow for talking points."]

Recent efforts of the public health community to combat obesity have been focused on children. Was that shortsighted?#ob...
10/16/2017
Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

Recent efforts of the public health community to combat obesity have been focused on children. Was that shortsighted?
#obesity #adultobesity #childhoodobesity

Almost 40% of adults and 19% of youth are obese, the highest numbers the country has seen in all adults, according to the latest research.

Skipping Breakfast Could Cause Childhood Obesity, Study Finds
09/26/2017
Skipping Breakfast Could Cause Childhood Obesity, Study Finds

Skipping Breakfast Could Cause Childhood Obesity, Study Finds

School-going children are more likely to binge on fast food during the rest of the day if they missed breakfast in the morning, adversely affecting their body mass index, studies show.

NPR
08/24/2017
NPR

NPR

Researchers confirm previous public health findings that abstinence-only education programs don't succeed in reducing rates of teen pregnancies or STDs. Moreover, public health data indicate that such programs "have little demonstrated efficacy in helping adolescents to delay intercourse," the authors write.

HuffPost Black Voices
08/09/2017
HuffPost Black Voices

HuffPost Black Voices

Black Americans are twice as likely to develop dementia -- more so if they're from "the stroke belt."

The Global War on Smoking Is Really Heating Up
08/09/2017
The Global War on Smoking Is Really Heating Up

The Global War on Smoking Is Really Heating Up

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to strip cigarettes of their addictive properties has opened a new front in the international campaign to reduce smoking, with health authorities in at least four other countries studying the idea.

Your ZIP Code Might Be As Important To Health As Your Genetic Code
08/04/2017
Your ZIP Code Might Be As Important To Health As Your Genetic Code

Your ZIP Code Might Be As Important To Health As Your Genetic Code

Health care forms increasingly ask about more than just medical history. That's because doctors are beginning to understand that patients' stress, and how and where they live, influence health, too.

"One overdose is too many. It is unacceptable. The people, I don't know why they do it," he said. "It's destroying a who...
06/27/2017
EMT's view from the front lines of the heroin crisis

"One overdose is too many. It is unacceptable. The people, I don't know why they do it," he said. "It's destroying a whole generation. We're losin' em." #heroinepidemic #publichealthcrisis #publichealth

Huntington, West Virginia, is one of the worst spots for the nation's opioid epidemic, and the head of its emergency medical services is not optimistic about an end any time soon.

"On the south side of Dallas, Nena Eldridge lives in a sparse but spotless bungalow on a dusty lot. At $550 each month, ...
06/16/2017
Affordable Housing Program Costs More, Shelters Fewer

"On the south side of Dallas, Nena Eldridge lives in a sparse but spotless bungalow on a dusty lot. At $550 each month, her rent is just about the cheapest she could find in the city." #housing #publichealth #socialdeterminantsofhealth #healthequity

The low-income housing tax credit program gave way to a booming $8 billion private industry, but as tax credits for companies increased, the number of housing units being built for the poor fell.

An American tragedy. A Public Health Crisis."Lead was only one of many ecological risks her family faced. The playground...
05/23/2017
The Poisoned Generation

An American tragedy. A Public Health Crisis.

"Lead was only one of many ecological risks her family faced. The playgrounds where Ryan and Ronnie played often brimmed with pools of fetid, standing water—owing to New Orleans’s fabled and constant flooding—that were sometimes tainted with battery acid."

The story of a decades-long lead-poisoning lawsuit in New Orleans illustrates how the toxin destroys black families and communities alike.

Zip codes ought not predict life expectancy. How could this be? Communities with lower life expectancy often have fewer ...
05/18/2017
Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

Zip codes ought not predict life expectancy. How could this be? Communities with lower life expectancy often have fewer parks, access to healthy foods, and our plagued with violence.

Geographic inequality in life span is growing in the United States, with people in some counties living more than 20 years longer than those in others.

Friends and Colleagues,   When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Hot Wheel Cars. Check out my new blog to see how I have ...
05/12/2017
I was obsessed with Hot Wheel Cars

Friends and Colleagues,
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Hot Wheel Cars. Check out my new blog to see how I have transformed that obsession. #designthinking #publichealth #forwardsolutions #healthequity

Kevin Dedner, MPH When I was a boy, I was obsessed with Hot Wheel Cars. I spent hours on hours playing with the cars. I would play with anybody who was willing to play with me, but mostly I played with my Cousin GJ. While I lived

“We just don’t talk about education in general and, you know, academic progress and behavioral progress in terms of heal...
05/10/2017
FINAL-Identifying and Weaving Together Health Equity Networks.pdf

“We just don’t talk about education in general and, you know, academic progress and behavioral progress in terms of health equity. I know we could, but most educators don’t.”

The Public Health Community now knows that other sectors must be engaged to improve public health outcomes and achieve health equity. Follow this link to read a report reflecting conversations with networks working on various social determinants of health.

Shared with Dropbox

New research documents significant disparities in the life spans of Americans depending on where they live. And those ga...
05/09/2017
Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

New research documents significant disparities in the life spans of Americans depending on where they live. And those gaps appear to be widening, according to the research.#inequality #publichealth #healthdisparities #healthequity #lifeexpectancy

Geographic inequality in life span is growing in the United States, with people in some counties living more than 20 years longer than those in others.

"“In our society,” the Supreme Court has held, “liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is th...
05/08/2017
Opinion | Locked Up for Being Poor

"“In our society,” the Supreme Court has held, “liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.” Yet across America, poor people like Ms. ODonnell are held in jail for days, weeks or even months solely because they don’t have the cash to bail themselves out."" #justicereform #cjreform

A federal judge rules that the routine use of cash bail unconstitutionally harms the poor.

Heroin first tore through through the nation's inner-cities in the 1960's  where mostly Black and Latino people died and...
05/04/2017
The history you never heard: How heroin became an inner city epidemic

Heroin first tore through through the nation's inner-cities in the 1960's where mostly Black and Latino people died and no one seemed to notice. Now, the epidemic has returned in rural white communities. #publichealth #heroinepidemic #opioid #drugabuse

“[Opioids have] always been a public health issue. It just wasn’t affecting the right people. But now I guess it is."

How Daily Table Sells Healthy Food To The Poor At Junk Food Prices #healthyfoods #fooddeserts #healthequity
04/28/2017
How Daily Table Sells Healthy Food To The Poor At Junk Food Prices

How Daily Table Sells Healthy Food To The Poor At Junk Food Prices #healthyfoods #fooddeserts #healthequity

Trader Joe's veteran Doug Rauch founded Daily Table, a non-profit that runs a discount grocery in the low-income Dorchester section of Boston. The store gets bargains on almost-expired food and imperfect produce. Rauch is fighting hunger by making healthy food available at affordable prices

Our customer value proposition. Please visit www.forward-solutions.org to learn more.  You may also follow us on twitter...
03/16/2017

Our customer value proposition. Please visit www.forward-solutions.org to learn more. You may also follow us on twitter @FWDSolutions.

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OUR STORY

In 2011, Forward Solutions was formed by Kevin Dedner. Kevin found himself in between opportunities and was offered a contracting opportunity to work on children’s health insurance. Prior to that, Kevin had spent the majority of his career working on a number of public health issues in several capacities. The single contracting opportunity led Kevin to realize a vision to support organizations in reaching their highest goals and improving vulnerable and at-risk communities. As the work evolved so did Forward Solutions. Kevin’s goal was to provide thoughtful and measured leadership to his clients and the personalized customer service. Organically the firm adopted the design thinking methodology to guide its policy and research work.

Several years later, the firm began to evolve into a total contracting firm with a targeted strategy on federal contracting. Today, the firm seeks to serve in a number of capacities. But, the guiding principles and convictions of the company still remain.

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"The idea that black men are willing to forgo their well-being hiding behind an idea of black masculinity isn't true." I just penned a piece on what I believe to be the #1 challenge for black men: maintaining emotional and mental health. Please check it out and share it with others. #mentalhealth #blackmen #publichealth #mentalhealthawareness #prevention #wellbeing #emotionalhealth #sucideprevention #stress #anxiety