Community Development as a Healthcare Strategy

By Carlisle, Corey | ABA Banking Journal, May-June 2019 | Go to article overview

Community Development as a Healthcare Strategy


Carlisle, Corey, ABA Banking Journal


What makes a home often brings up descriptions of shelter, security and the center of daily life for most families. Given that we spend most of our time indoors, in our homes, public health groups are paying much attention to physical and environmental (including neighborhood) factors that influence health--factors like where we live. This growing focus, led by promising research and evidence, shows that investment in housing and broader community development can lead to improved health outcomes in communities.

According to the Public Health Institute, there have been more than 30 healthy communities conferences in recent years convened by the regional Federal Reserve Banks. Inspired by PHI's Build Healthy Places Network and led by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the events strive to deepen cross-sector collaboration between community development, public health, finance and healthcare.

In a report from the University of California San Francisco Center on Social Disparities in Health, David Erickson at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Center for Community Development Investments says, "there is an entire industry--community development--with annual resources in the tens of billions of dollars that is in the 'ZIP-code improving' business. And in the health field, there is increasing recognition of the need to act on the social determinants of health. The time to merge these two approaches--improving health by addressing its social determinants and revitalizing low-income neighborhoods--is now."

As a means of connecting otherwise separate programs, Morgan Stanley

launched the "Healthy Cities" initiative, which helps provide wellness education and health screenings, healthy foods and safe play spaces for communities in need. These innovative solutions give children access to the combined resources they need for a healthy start in life. Since its launch in 2014, the program has engaged more than 9,000 of their employee volunteers to make 3. …

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