The Foundation’s research identified the following as leading health issues with the most significant potential impact on community health outcomes.
Neighborhood Conditions & Built Environment
Many live in neighborhoods with high rates of violence, pollution, lack of clean water and other unsafe spaces that threaten health and safety. Racial and ethnic minorities and low-income people are more likely to live in health-risk areas. Policy changes and interventions can help reduce these risks to promote health and well-being.
Healthcare Access & Quality
People without health insurance are less likely to see a primary care provider, less likely to participate in regular health screening, and less likely to have the ability to afford medications. People who live far away from a health care provider and/or in a rural area or lack access to reliable transportation are also less likely to seek routine medical care. Interventions aimed at increasing transportation access to health care services and improving health communication information can help improve overall health and well-being.
Social & Community Context
The relationships that people have with family, friends, and neighbors can have an impact on health and well-being. Positive relationships and social support can reduce some of the effects of other challenging health factors. Community building and interventions aimed at increasing social support can help to improve the health and well-being of a community and its members.
People with steady employment are less likely to live in poverty and more likely to be healthy. Many people have difficulty finding and keeping a job, and people with disabilities, injuries, or chronic health conditions may be limited in their ability to work. Job assistance programs, career counseling, and affordable, high-quality child-care opportunities can help people find and keep jobs.
Education Access & Quality
People with higher levels of education are more likely to be healthy and live longer. Children from low-income families, children with disabilities, and those who experience discrimination are more likely to struggle with reading and math and less likely to graduate from high school or attend college. As a result, they are less likely to find steady employment and more likely to have health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Interventions focused on children and adolescents’ education can improve performance in school and improve health and well-being.
Our Upstream Approach
Learn more about how we address the social, economic, and environmental conditions determining well-being.