The Money-Saving Medicine of Violence Prevention

Hospitals are increasingly recognizing that addressing the social conditions that lead to recurring violence — and the victims of violence — can save both lives and money, and they're implementing programs in line with that notion.
Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Community Resources

Overcoming Winter Weather’s Barriers to Healthcare

For people seeking either routine or emergency healthcare, the extremes of winter weather present significant barriers. But, for individuals also facing the challenges of social determinants, these cold and wet months can be the toughest of the year. From coast to coast, healthcare providers and other organizations caring for vulnerable populations must not only prepare for weather, but also think of ways to ensure continued prevention and minimal disruption of care.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health

44 Million Reasons to Talk about Mental Health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million American adults experience mental illness in a given year. 44 million. 1 in 5 adults. We’re talking about anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia and schizophrenia, to name a few. 44 million people. If you haven’t already paused to think about this, pause now.

Topics: Healthcare Delivery Social Determinants of Health Community Resources

Another Growing Inequality Between the Rich and the Poor: Life Spans

The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, but there's another inequality that's growing between the two groups: their life spans.
Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Community Resources

What We Built: Integrations, Status Page, Translations, and More

Healthify has had a productive start to 2016. With the launch of our API and improved SAML 2.0 integrations, you can start using Healthify without disrupting your team's workflow.

We've also launched a new status page, added translations of Healthify in over 80 languages, and began taking steps towards becoming HITRUST certified.

Topics: Healthify

New Plans to Fight Homelessness

It's been an exciting first half of the week for those keeping abreast of elected officials' efforts to combat homelessness. 
Topics: Social Determinants of Health Public Health

Rising Death Rate of Middle-Aged Whites, Part II

Last fall, a shocking study by Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case found that the death rates of middle-aged white Americans are rising, despite declining mortality rates for every other age group, racial and ethnic group, and middle-aged whites in other rich countries.
Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Public Health

The Economics of Social Enterprise

This is Part 1 in a multi-part sequence on social enterprises and the interaction of social good with economic forces.

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health

The Shared Commitment to Improving Access to Healthcare

“80 percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

Topics: Healthcare Delivery Social Determinants of Health Community Resources

The Zika Virus

In the wake of the World Health Organization's designation of the Zika virus as a global public health emergency, governments around the world are expected to dramatically step up their efforts to curb the spread of the mosquito-borne disease.

The outbreak of the virus, which a WHO advisory panel said is "strongly suspected" of causing thousands of cases of brain defects known as microcephaly in newborns, began in Brazil last May and has since spread to more than 20 countries in Latin America, NYT and WAPO reported.

American officials have said that the virus does not pose a major threat to the United States, where mosquito control efforts are robust and effective.

In the coming months, that aspect of the outbreak -- how effectively governments are able to control the carriers of the Zika virus -- will play an important role in assessing whether the international response is adequate.

One factor that will likely pose challenges to mosquito control in Zika-affected countries is the same factor that contributes to the poor health of millions of Americans, though it's often relegated to the margins of healthcare.

That would be poverty -- a social determinant of health and something that also contributed to the spread of Ebola in 2014.

Amy Y. Vittor, an assistant professor in medicine at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, opined in a NYT editorial that alleviating urban poverty will be key to tackling the Zika virus.

"Lack of running water and waste management, in conjunction with urban crowding and poor housing, has given rise to the perfect set of conditions for the transmission of such mosquito-borne viruses," she wrote.

Vittor went on to cite an example of how poverty makes a difference in how terrible outbreaks can get, citing a dengue outbreak in 2005 in contiguous cities on the Texas-Mexico border that resulted in the outbreak being eight times higher on the Mexico side than on the Texas side.

On the Mexico side, a backlog in water and waste management services; residents' infrequent access to running water leading them to store water in containers; and high population density heightened the outbreak's effect, she said.

Whether it's dealing with global public health emergencies like the Zika virus, or preventing heart disease and diabetes in underserved populations, social determinants of health like poverty, education and housing are topics that need to be considered in the overall picture of establishing healthy societies.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Public Health