Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

Counting a Diverse Nation: Disaggregating Data on Race and Ethnicity to Advance a Culture of Health

"Racial and ethnic health disparities and inequities can only be eliminated if high-quality information is available by which to track immediate problems and the underlying social determinants of health. Such information can guide the design and application of culturally specific approaches to medicine and public health. Often, health outcomes are disaggregated only by broad racial and ethnic categories such as White, Black, or Hispanic. However, the great, and growing, diversity of the American population means that people’s actual experiences are much more specific.

The U.S. has numerous compelling reasons to build and maintain a much more robust practice of disaggregating data below the level of major racial groups and to link these data to the factors that influence health. Improving how we create, understand, and handle disaggregated data about race and ethnicity is central to the pursuit of health equity and a deeper appreciation of American society overall..."

Read the full report from Policy Link.

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Community Control of Land & Housing

Community Control of Land & Housing

Community Control of Land & Housing: Exploring strategies for combating displacement, expanding ownership, and building community wealth. This report from Democracy Collaborative is based on dozens of interviews with practitioners, academics, and community members, as well as a review of various reports, studies, and surveys. The report shares the resulting findings through key research insights, a review of best practices, and relevant examples. It seeks to broaden awareness, discourse, and adoption of community control of land and housing strategies among various stakeholders who have a genuine desire to see stable, healthy, equitable, and sustainable local communities flourish. 

Read the full report here.

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Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: Equity Action Guide

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: Equity Action Guide

"Where we live, work, learn and play has a lasting impact on our health. The social facors that create health disparities also cause disparities in areas such as housing and transportation. The Office of Health Equity, in partnership with community organizations and other state agencies, developed a Colorado Equity Action Guide that looks at the root causes of inequity across Colorado through an in-depth review of community characteristics, stories and data. It leverages cross-sector collaboration and promotes data-sharing for sustainable community informed decision-making to advance equity."

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

To access the guide, please click here.

 

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8 Policies that Have Contributed to Place Based Health Disparities Across Generations

8 Policies that Have Contributed to Place Based Health Disparities Across Generations

"Where you live plays a significant role in how healthy you are. But when it comes to promoting health, not all neighborhoods are created equal. And neighborhoods with the best access to health-promoting resources — like quality housing, good jobs, well-maintained parks, healthy food, and excellent schools — aren’t accessible to everyone.

Today, many of the differences between neighborhoods exist because of decades’ worth of interrelated policies that have cumulatively influenced where investment and opportunity have concentrated and who has access to them. The result is increasing health disparities and exacerbated inequities in communities across the country. Read on to learn more about 8 laws and policies that have created unhealthy places and about tools and resources that can help heal policy harms and create healthy neighborhoods for all..."

Erik Calloway & Chassidy Hanley | August 6, 2018

The read the 8 policies from ChangeLab Solutions, please click here.

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The Health Opportunity and Equity Initiative (HOPE)

The Health Opportunity and Equity Initiative (HOPE)

"The Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was launched to start a new conversation about health because we believe that every person in the U.S., no matter their background or ZIP code, should have a fair and just opportunity for the best possible health and well-being.

The HOPE Initiative tracks 28 indicators that span the life course, including health outcomes and indicators related to opportunity such as socioeconomic factors, the physical and social environment, and access to health care at the state and national level. Gaps in health do not develop by chance or by choice. These measures were chosen because they reflect the systems and policies that affect health equity. Data are also provided by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, making this the first tool of its kind..."

To learn more about Health Opportunity and Equity Initiative, visit the website here.

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Housing for health: Nationwide Children's Hospital presents a case study for treating a neighborhood as a patient

Housing for health: Nationwide Children's Hospital presents a case study for treating a neighborhood as a patient

"Neighborhood effect syndrome, characterized by symptoms of extreme poverty including blight, housing insecurity, racial segregation, trauma, violence, poorly performing schools, low social cohesion and support and environmental toxins, has debilitating consequences on child health. Health care providers frequently encounter challenges to caring for children from affected neighborhoods, and these children often experience poorer outcomes compared to peers in unaffected neighborhoods. Historically, institutions have been largely ineffective in changing these outcomes with one-child-at-a-time tactics. 

In a novel approach to improving outcomes for these children, Nationwide Children's leaders with community partners decided to address neighborhood effect syndrome as a target for pediatric health care - treating the neighborhood as a patient. In 2008, Nationwide Children's began collaborating with residents, government entities and social services agencies to develop the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families (HNHF) initiative..."

Read the full press release at EurekAlert and check out the Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families resource on Nationwide Children's site.

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Social Determinants are Core of North Carolina's Medicaid Overhaul

Social Determinants are Core of North Carolina's Medicaid Overhaul

"North Carolina is trying to make taking care of patients' social and environmental needs a sustainable, everyday part of a healthcare organization's workflow, Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina's Health and Human Services Department, explained Friday at Modern Healthcare's Women Leaders in Healthcare conference in Nashville. She described the goal as buying health—not healthcare. 

Looking beyond what happens in the hospital or clinic is becoming the financial imperative for U.S. healthcare organizations as they move toward alternative payment models and take on more financial risk for a patient's health, said Cohen, who took on the role of secretary in January 2017 after serving as chief operating officer and chief of staff at the CMS during the Obama administration..."

Shelby Livingston | August 3, 2018

To read the full article, please click here. This piece appears in Modern Healthcare.

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Partnerships for Health Equity and Opportunity: A Healthcare Playbook for Community Developers

Partnerships for Health Equity and Opportunity: A Healthcare Playbook for Community Developers

"The United States spends nearly $3.5 trillion on medical care each year, with more than 80 percent spent on treating chronic disease — most of which is avoidable and concentrated among those living in low-income communities. Thus, over $1 trillion is spent every year on treating avoidable disease created by conditions of poverty, which can negatively affect the health of future generations.

What if we changed the paradigm from treating to preventing and reinvested that $1 trillion towards eliminating the intergenerational transmission of poor health and poverty? What would it take for prevention to encompass not just diet and exercise, but other dimensions like financial health, stable housing, access to healthy food, education, even community empowerment and agency?

This playbook from PHI's Build Healthy Places Network guides community developers toward partnerships with hospitals and healthcare systems. As stewards for the communities they serve, the community development sector develops and finances the physical spaces, infrastructure, and essential services needed to live a healthy and productive life and can serve as an action arm for advancing population health and health equity."

From Public Health Institute's Build Healthy Places Network comes the report Partnerships for Health Equity and Opportunity: A Healthcare Playbook for Community Developers. This piece can be found on Public Health Institute's Resource Page.

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Health departments placing stronger emphasis on equity: Achieving social justice in public health

Health departments placing stronger emphasis on equity: Achieving social justice in public health

"Data-driven public health policy has long been at the center of the Kansas City health department’s equity work, which began, in earnest, nearly two decades ago after data revealed a more than six-year life expectancy gap between the city’s black and white residents, with about half of the city’s annual deaths attributable to factors such as poverty, segregation, violence and lack of education. The data pushed the agency to begin the process of shifting its focus from health disparities to health inequities, with an eye toward remedying the conditions that confer greater health opportunity to certain populations over others.

After years of work, health equity values are part of everyday practice at the health department, with many of its equity wins driven by a mix of policy, partnership, data and community engagement. Just recently, for example, the health department successfully persuaded the city to adopt an official five-year business development plan that includes a strategic objective to increase overall life expectancy and reduce health inequities, with a goal of incentivizing development in neighborhoods in need of services and jobs..."

First in a series on health equity, which ties into the theme of APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now." This piece appears in the July edition of The Nation's Health.

Kim Krisberg | July 2018

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If health care is a small part of health, how does a safety net hospital adapt?

"At one of the busiest public hospitals in the nation, doctors have learned that to heal a patient on the inside, they must understand the patient’s world outside the exam room.

What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Are you buying healthy food? How are you getting to work? The questions are meant to uncover the root causes of what bring men and women into the Adult East Primary Care Clinic at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, just east of downtown L.A. Once that screening takes place and a doctor understands how a patient's health is impacted by homelesses, lack of nutrious food or trauma, a team of providers is ready to help. Nurses, social workers, community advocates, nutritionists, mental health specialists, medical students, and volunteers are ready to link a patient to, say, food stamps or psychological care, said Dr. Jagruti Shukla, director of primary care at LAC+USC..."

Susan Abram | July 25, 2018

This piece appears in the Center for Health Journalism Fellowships Blog


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