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Insights

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 Environmental Health walkable resources happiness

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: Community Resources Food food insecurity 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: Community Resources Women's Health Community Based Organizations Coordinate Care Womens healthcare week

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: Community Resources Coordinate Care nurses

Cooking Up Better Health

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

Topics: Health Disparities Community Resources Food Community Based Organizations 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 Low income housing Coordinate Care coordination 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: Healthify Social Determinants of Health Community Resources Mental Health Community Based Organizations Coordinate Care coordination

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

Integrating Social Determinants into Redesigned Care

Teaching Medical Students about the Social Determinants of Health Improves Patient Care

When a patient comes seeking care, typically providers identify symptoms, diagnose, treat, and send the patient on their way with a care plan. But what happens when the patient returns presenting the provider with the exact same issue from the first visit? Are these patients treated exactly the same way again and simply deemed noncompliant?

Today, many teaching hospitals and medical schools are advocating a different approach. They are training residents and medical students on the social determinants of health. Instead of following the traditional model where physicians focus on the presenting illness, diagnosis, and treatment, they are asking these new physicians to identify the social circumstances or behavioral health conditions that are at the root of health issues.

Topics: Healthcare Delivery Social Determinants of Health Community Resources

The Hidden Hunger Crisis in the LGBT Community

First, the bad news: Back in May, Gallup reported that 15% of U.S. adults did not have enough money to buy food for themselves or their families in the last year. Now, the good news: This is a 5% decrease from the 2013 high of nearly 20% and represents the lowest percentage of Americans struggling to afford food since Gallup started tracking the measure in 2008.

Topics: Community Resources Public Health Food