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Funding a Food Allergy

Food allergies have become synonymous with the upper-middle class; there’s probably a punchline somewhere about all the nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free items in a Whole Foods shopping cart at this very moment. But, the reality is, food allergies plague every socioeconomic group in the nation; 8% of children in the United States have at least one food allergy. Wealthier families just have the means to proactively manage them.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Food

Social Determinants of Health and Physician Education

Healthcare in the United States ranks last out of 11 developed nations in the world (Citation 1). We lag far behind the UK, Australia, the Netherlands and seven other countries in access, equity, and health care outcomes. Yet, we spend more on healthcare than any of them. However, we spend much less on social services than any of the other 11 countries and therein lies the problem.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Health Disparities Health Spending

Keeping the Lights On: Combatting Energy Insecurity with Social Programs

Vulnerable, low-income populations in need of social services visit the emergency room at more than twice the rates of other Americans. But once treated and discharged, they face another barrier to staying healthy when they return home: keeping their utilities on. More than 16 million US households face energy insecurity, meaning that they go without necessary utilities such as heat and electricity, throughout the year.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Food Utilities

Turning the Healthcare Spend Right-side Up

It’s no secret that America spends a lot on healthcare. At 18% of GDP, a total of $3.2 trillion, America spends more on healthcare than any other country. However, recent data suggests the issue is less about how much we spend, and instead, where we spend it.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Healthcare Health Spending

Healthify Raises $6.5 Million to Transform How Health Care Addresses Social Needs

Investment, led by BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, will accelerate team growth, enhance new coordination product line, and support national expansion.

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health

Employment: A Key to Better Health

Collie Thomas is an orderly at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Each day, she stocks patients’ rooms with supplies, transports patients, and delivers medical records. It’s not a glamorous job, but Collie plays an important role in helping the hospital run smoothly, and she is extremely grateful for the opportunity. Unlike many in our country, Collie has a steady source of income.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Community Based Organizations employment

A Breath of Fresh Air for Smoking Cessation Efforts­­­­

More than 50 years ago, the Surgeon General first reported that cigarette smoking was very bad for our health. At the time, 42% of Americans smoked. Even now that the percentage has dropped dramatically to less than 15%, smoking is still a deadly problem. 

The deleterious effects of smoking are well known, including the increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking causes 480,000 deaths annually, which is more deaths each year than the following causes combined: HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents. 

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health Medicaid Coordinate Care smoking

Breathing new life into Asthma treatment

Santana Hudson, a 3-year-old boy from a low-income family in the Midwest, suffers from chronic asthma. The normally active young boy stops like clockwork every four hours to sit down and inhale asthma medication. If a dose is missed, he likely will end up in a trip to the emergency room, which for him, are frequent. Santana lacks a primary care doctor, and like many other children, he is left with one option for treating severe asthma attacks—to call an ambulance.

Asthma impacts roughly one in 12 Americans. It’s so common that its severity is often underestimated. But for some, like Santana, asthma can be so debilitating that it interferes with daily activities and can lead to life-threatening attacks. While asthma affects all ethnic groups and levels of socio-economic status, it disproportionally impacts low-income, minority and inner city populations.

Topics: Healthify Social Determinants of Health low income Coordinate Care coordination health asthma

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