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Insights

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

Providing End-of-Life Palliative Care for the Homeless

A significant gap in the health care system for one of the most vulnerable patient populations may be slowly closing. Thanks to innovative new programs, increased numbers of homeless men and women fighting fatal illnesses and chronic conditions are receiving the palliative and respite care they so desperately need. 

With many seriously ill homeless patients seeking care only when in dire need, these vital programs work to improve quality of life, preserve the dignity of the patients, and help to better utilize already stretched health care resources.

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health Coordinate Care Vulnerable populations Homeless Palliative care

Under-Addressed and Overlooked: The Mental Health Issue

When you think of the costliest chronic health conditions, diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease come to mind. However, topping the list is a disease that unfortunately has long had a stigma associated with it—mental disorders.

Topics: Healthcare Delivery Social Determinants of Health Mental Health

A Holiday Gift: Less Stress

While many eagerly anticipate the winter holidays, others dread the season as it brings more stress than joy.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Mental Health

Is Social Media Contributing to the Rise of Teen Suicides?

Middle schoolers are now just as likely to die from suicide as from traffic accidents, according to newly published data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Childhood Development Mental Health

Preserving Culture in Population Health Strategies

If health systems, payers, and providers aim to positively impact social determinants of health, it is imperative they recognize the cultural differences in caring for minority populations. Nationwide, people of color represent 38% of all Americans, and yet these groups are overrepresented in the low-income and underinsured populations.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Population Health

Four Steps to Warming up for Winter’s Challenges to Continued Care

Even with the official start of winter still a month away, for many parts of the country, cold weather has set in, and snow has begun to fall. A challenging, and often long season for many, winter can be a particularly difficult and dangerous time for the most vulnerable populations as they seek out basic needs and care.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Housing

Leveraging Population Health to go Beyond Diabetes Awareness

It’s November, which means it’s not only time to celebrate Thanksgiving but also diabetes awareness. The yearly observance of Diabetes Awareness Month provides a chance to shed light on one of our nation’s most prevalent chronic diseases. While the focus for the month has largely been to bring attention to how to live healthy with diabetes, now more than ever, it should also draw awareness on how a population health approach can reduce its impact.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Food Diabetes

Who Would Zika Affect the Most in the U.S.?

If the cluster of Zika cases recently reported in Florida spreads further, the virus's impact in the United States would likely disproportionately affect the poor.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Zika

From Homeless to Haven

Without a home, where would you seek shelter from bad weather? Where would you sleep? Where would you bathe and eat? Where would you go for safety? We take for granted the many benefits of living in a home.

Without permanent shelter, many homeless individuals find themselves turning to hospitals to fulfill their basic needs. With the financial challenges facing our health system already, caring for the homeless is an additional burden it struggles to address.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Housing