Healthify Blog

Closing the Health Equity Gap

Reducing health disparities between low-income and affluent communities

In the last few years, the phrase “your zip code matters more than your genetic code” has floated around the healthcare industry and with sound reasoning too. In cities across the U.S., the average life expectancy is 15-20 years shorter in low-income communities than those in more affluent communities. Rates of preventable, chronic diseases are rising sharply in low-income neighborhoods and health gaps between low-income and affluent communities continue widen. These disparities in health are founded on a complex interplay of racial, economic, educational, and other social factors. But by partnering with community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health, health plans and health systems can dramatically improve health outcomes in their communities.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Resources community-centered

3 Strategies for Taking a Community-Centered Approach to Care Coordination

At Healthify, we believe that health is a human right, and that health disparities are largely influenced by socioeconomic factors such as access to housing, food, education, and employment. These factors are commonly known as the social determinants of health.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Coordinate Care Health Department Community Resources community-centered

The Link Between Walkability and Happiness: New Evidence

When it comes to the health benefits of walkable cities, in which the built environment is conducive to walking, the scientific and public health communities are broadly in agreement. Walkable cities reduce the risk of putting on excess body weight, increase general levels of physical activity, and can potentially reduce the amount of time adults spend on electronic devices. However, one of the more neglected aspects of walkability in public health literature has been walkability’s effect on individual happiness levels. While it is easy to assume that the health benefits associated with walkability would naturally increase happiness, these assumptions should not be taken for granted, which is why researchers in the Journal of Public Health released a new study considering the link between walkability and neighborhood satisfaction.

Topics: Community Resources walkable resources happiness Environmental Health

Shifting Focus: New Strategies to Fight Food Deserts

In recent years the concept of food deserts, commonly defined as areas with low car ownership combined with few or no supermarkets located within a mile, has become a focus of politicians and public health professionals looking to improve health outcomes in low-income communities.

Topics: Food food insecurity Community Resources Food deserts

Empowering Women to Improve Health

Women’s health has taken center stage in 2017, but not necessarily for positive reasons. As healthcare policies continue to be debated in Washington, essential healthcare benefits for women are in jeopardy, including prenatal and maternity care, mammograms, and birth control.

As National Women’s Health Week, it’s an apt time to promote, not demote, women’s health. National Women’s Health Week, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, serves as a time to advocate for women to make their health a priority. The annual campaign encourages women to improve their health, including regularly visiting a doctor, adhering to a healthy diet, exercising, and prioritizing mental health.

Topics: Women's Health Womens healthcare week Coordinate Care Community Based Organizations Community Resources

A Salute to Nurses: Our Caretakers, Educators, and Advocates

There’s a saying that nurses are by our side at the beginning of life and the end of it, and every health event in between. And it’s true. Nurses are the engine that drive the patient care process. 

Topics: nurses Coordinate Care Community Resources

Cooking Up Better Health

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates

Topics: Food Health Disparities Community Based Organizations Community Resources Vulnerable populations

500 Cities Project: Only Two Miles Away, Yet Miles Apart

Baltimore, like many cities across the country, is experiencing growing pains. With a relatively affluent metropolitan area and an abundance of high-paying jobs, the city is booming. But as wealth infiltrates some neighborhoods, others are being left behind. As a result, the city is experiencing significant gaps in both the wealth and health of its residents.

Take, for instance, two Baltimore neighborhoods, Federal Hill, located south of downtown, and Cherry Hill, one of the southernmost neighborhoods of the city. Approximately two miles apart, the two neighborhoods could not be more disparate when it comes to health. 

Topics: Community Resources Coordinate Care coordination Low income housing 500 cities project Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

All by Myself: The Health Effects of Loneliness

Loneliness has evolved from a favorite topic of angsty teens to a serious public health crisis. Long thought of as a temporary state of mind, loneliness--broadly defined as “the distress people feel when reality fails to meet their ideal of social relationships”--now outstrips obesity as a predictor of early death.

Topics: Mental Health Social Determinants of Health Coordinate Care Healthify coordination Community Based Organizations Community Resources

Bringing Coordinated Care to Rural Communities

In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in the southeast corner of Kentucky sits a once-booming coal center. Today, Letcher County, home to 25,000 residents, is distressed; the community faces high poverty rates and poor health.

The story of Letcher County is all too familiar across rural America. About one out of five Americans, 60 million in total, live in places like Letcher County. Rural America has been hit hard in recent years. For half a century, coal mining and other industrial sectors drove the rural economy, and as a result these regions contributed greatly to our country’s overall economic health.

Topics: Coordinate Care Community Based Organizations Community Resources low income Vulnerable populations rural care