Tackling the Health Problems That Poverty Causes

From the article by Tom Dallessio in Next City:

Although the U.S. spends nearly twice as much per person on healthcare as other high-income nations, Americans are sicker and die younger than residents of other rich nations. A “Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge” is hoping to change that, at least in 50 U.S. communities.

The Challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, and aims to empower small to mid-size U.S. cities and counties to address the multitude of health concerns facing cities today, from access to healthy food and clean water to a dearth public green spaces in which to play, work and exercise.

In a conversation about the challenge, Garth Graham, CEO of the Aetna Foundation, and MaryLynn Ostrowski, the executive director of the Aetna Foundation, spoke about how the health concerns facing cities today need a holistic approach — and how to make that collaboration between residents, local governments and other organizations possible.

Questions discussed included:

  • What were the health challenges people in cities faced over the last century, and how have they changed in the last decade or two?
  • How have these health challenges affected those less represented in society?
  • Are there enough resources available to address the challenges?
  • Can you share an example from one of the six cities that have already been named participants in the health challenge?
  • How can philanthropies, health professionals and urban thought leaders work together to develop solutions that can align public health and community development policies?

Read the full article.