Can you tell how healthy a person is likely to be by their zip code? A recent conference in West Virginia co-hosted by our Community Development department highlighted the growing connection between public health and the community development field. Why is this important? Because more collaboration and alignment between health and community focused organizations can positively affect the health outcomes of low-income people.
The West Virginia at the Intersection of Health and Community Conference was a partnership between West Virginia University Health Sciences School and several foundations committed to health and community. The event brought together public health practitioners, community development professionals, government officials from the offices of West Virginia Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin and Congressman Alex Moody, and local officials to discuss how they can help transform neighborhoods and influence social determinants of health.
Research indicates that social determinants of health, such as employment, crime rate, education, poverty and access to medical care, contribute to health disparities that may disadvantage low- and moderate-income communities and individuals. A recent issue of 5th District Spotlight published by Community Development examined these issues and the impact in our District.
The West Virginia conference is one of several Community Development efforts across our District to create a better understanding of the connection of public health and community development.
Conference co-sponsors included the Cleveland Fed, West Virginia University, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Kanawha Valley Foundation and the West Virginia Primary Care Association.
"Connection to people, purpose important to health, official says," Charleston Gazette-Mail, November 30, 2016
"Charleston conference addresses community health," West Virginia University Press Release, November 28, 2016