California Community Health Tied to Partnering among Stakeholders
Currie, Donya, The Nation's Health
A STRONG medical system is important to maintain community health, but factors such as racial justice, literacy, social networks and accessible transportation are also needed to ensure health for all, according to a report on community health in California.
Sponsored by the California Endowment, the Prevention Institute report looked at findings from nearly 100 community report cards and indicator reports from throughout the country. It outlines a community health framework and provides tools for community groups, practitioners, advocates, government agencies, elected officials and others to use to build capacity and support efforts in promoting community health.
"There are things that we can do to build communities to make them resilient to some negative health outcomes," Linnea Ashley, MPH, program coordinator for the Prevention Institute, told The Nation's Health.
Among those actions, she said, are nontraditional partnerships between public health personnel and government, businesses and schools. For example, when a community is working on safety issues, zoning and land use are key concerns that might not traditionally be approached from a public health perspective. But if a new, four-lane highway is constructed adjacent to a neighborhood, the health impact could be significant.
Several key factors can help steer community health efforts, according to the report, "Good Health Counts: A 21st Century Approach to Health and Community for California." Those include "equitable opportunity factors" such as racial justice, access to investment opportunities and locally owned businesses, and high-quality, available education. …