Opportunity Insights

Source: Opportunity Insights

The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility

The Opportunity Atlas

Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty?

The Opportunity Atlas answers this question using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s.

Now you can trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up.

See where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

City Health Dashboard

Empowering cities to create thriving communities:  Explore health in your city

Source: https://www.cityhealthdashboard.com/

Learn how other communities have successfully woven health into their decision-making around issues such as education, access to affordable housing, and unemployment. This section includes new articles on how cities are using the Dashboard, posts from the City Health Dashboard team, and feature stories that show how cities are building healthier communities.

Metrics Background

The City Health Dashboard allows you to see where the nation’s 500 largest cities stand on 36 key measures of health and factors affecting health across five areas: Health Behaviors, Social and Economic Factors, Physical Environment, Health Outcomes, and Clinical Care. These categories align with those used in the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a well-known program that provides health data at the county level. Data come from federal, state, and other datasets with rigorous standards for collection and analysis. The Dashboard team chose these measures, with guidance from a City Advisory Committee, because cities can act on them, they were collected within the last four years, they are updated regularly, and they are backed by evidence. Below, you will find information on each metric including a metric description, data source, years of data, how the measure is calculated, and a link to more information.

Expansion of Successful Online Population Health Resource Will Give More U.S. Cities Access to Key Health Data

Hundreds of United States cities will be able to identify their most pressing health needs more accurately—thanks to a nationwide expansion of the City Health Dashboard, an innovative health data visualization tool.

Created by the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, in partnership with the National Resource Network, the City Health Dashboard launched earlier this yearin four cities. It will expand to 500 additional cities over the next two years through a $3.4 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—with the ultimate goal of becoming a central health improvement planning resource for U.S. cities with populations of 70,000 or more, or one-third of the U.S. population.

Users of the City Health Dashboard have the ability to view their city’s performance in 26 key measures of health, like obesity and primary care physician coverage; and drivers of health status, such as housing affordability, high school graduation rate, food access, and opioid deaths. For many of the measures, data can be accessed at the neighborhood level.

Marc Gourevitch, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and the program’s principal architect, points out that the City Health Dashboard responds to increased interest by cities in data on benchmark measures of health, health determinants, and equity. Currently most data of this scope has only been available at the county level—posing challenges to urban health improvement efforts.

“There is an old adage: ‘what gets measured is what gets done,” Dr. Gourevitch says. “Community leaders want accurate, actionable, and precise data to advance initiatives that improve health, bring down costs, and focus on community wellbeing. We’re excited to be at the vanguard of providing this important information to cities across the country.”

How the City Health Dashboard Works

The City Health Dashboard places in the hands of city leaders and community organizations a responsive and highly reliable web interface with regularly refreshed health-related data—overseen by a team of epidemiologists, population health and urban policy experts, and geographic information system specialists.

Data presented by the City Health Dashboard are drawn from federal and state governments and other organizations that apply rigorous methodology to data collection, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In our work with cities across the nation, we’ve learned that their governments want to improve the physical health of their residents as well as the fiscal health of their municipalities,” says David Eichenthal, executive director of National Resource Network. “Nationally scaling this resource will help place health at the center of local agenda-setting, improve efficiencies, save city-level expenses, and address the need for comparable data at the local level.”

The expanded City Health Dashboard will offer enhanced technical support features to cities more actively engaged in data-driven policy-making. All cities will have access to features to compare peer cities and neighborhoods, tools for tracking performance, and resources to deep-dive into more advanced microdata interfacing.

The four pilot cities—Flint, Michigan; Kansas City, Kansas; Providence, Rhode Island; and Waco, Texas—are already incorporating the City Health Dashboard into their efforts to improve health. For example, Prosper Waco, a nonprofit organization, is using the site to help determine its inner city’s need for services related to high teen birth rate.

Says Dr. Gourevitch: “We hope the site will serve as a platform for cities to share and gather knowledge to improve outcomes on some of the most pressing health challenges our society faces.”

Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund – Health Resource in Action

Source: Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund – Health Resource in Action

The Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund, established in 1947 by Frank M. Noonan in memory of his mother, continues its proud tradition of supporting improvements in the quality of life for children with disabilities with one-year grants up to $80,000 (inclusive of 20% indirect costs). Recognizing that children’s health services and supports are provided in a wide range of community settings as well as hospitals, the Noonan Research program welcomes research proposals from both nonprofit organizations and academic institutions that serve children with physical or developmental disabilities and associated health-related complications. Eligible organizations and target populations must be within the Fund’s geographic area of interest of Greater Boston. Neither a faculty position nor an advanced degree is required.

The Sara Elizabeth O’Brien Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, will support up to one additional project submitted to the Noonan Research Fund focusing on medical research related to blindness in children and adolescents.  Please note, the O’Brien Trust does not fund work on other visual impairments, e.g., strabismus. The O’Brien Trust is not restricted to the Noonan geography specified by the Noonan Research program.

Proposals for basic science research will not be considered (except for proposals focused on blindness funded by the O’Brien Trust), nor will applications for capital costs such as buildings, renovations, or major equipment items. The Noonan Fund does not support direct service, primary prevention projects, or primary medical conditions such as obesity or device development. Drug trials are not supported by the Noonan Research Fund.

Physical Activity: Family-Based Interventions

Source: Physical Activity: Family-Based Interventions

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends family-based interventions to increase physical activity among children.

Intervention

Family-based interventions combine activities to build family support with health education to increase physical activity among children. Interventions include one or more of the following:

  • Goal-setting tools and skills to monitor progress, such as a website to enter information
  • Reinforcement of positive health behaviors, such as reward charts or role modeling of physical activity by parents or instructors
  • Organized physical activity sessions, such as instructor-led opportunities for active games

Interventions also may provide information about other lifestyle behaviors such as choosing healthier foods or reducing screen time.

Read more

Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement pdf icon [PDF – 633 kB] for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Source: Obesity: Meals and Snacks Provided by Schools | The Community Guide

Summary of Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends meal interventions and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages provided by schools. This finding is based on evidence that they increase fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce or maintain the rate of obesity or overweight.

The Task Force has related findings for interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages in schools:

Read more

Intervention

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Health Equity, Social Determinants | The Community Guide

Source: Health Equity, Social Determinants | The Community Guide

Health equity exists when individuals have equal opportunities to be healthy. The ability to be healthy is often associated with factors such as social position, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, or disability. When these factors limit a person’s ability to be healthy it can lead to health inequity.

Health inequities are caused by the uneven distribution of social determinants of health. Social determinants include education, housing, and the neighborhood environment (e.g., sidewalks, parks), access to transportation, employment opportunities, the law and the justice systems, and health care and public health systems. Social determinants of health affect a person’s ability to earn a good living, live and work in a safe and healthy environment, and effectively use available resources including health care resources. Sometimes populations that represent a specific demographic feature (e.g., a particular racial or ethnic group) do not have equal access to quality education, housing, and other resources which can lead to greater sickness, and increased injuries and deaths.

Current Community Guide reviews are focused on interventions to reduce health inequities among racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations.

Fitness facilities still lack accessibility for people with disabilities

Fitness facilities have potential to serve as places of ‘health enhancement’ for many underserved populations, particularly among people with physical/mobility disabilities where walking outdoors to meet recommendations for regular physical activity is not an option due to mobility or safety issues.

Source: Fitness facilities still lack accessibility for people with disabilities – Disability and Health Journal

Abstract

Background

Fitness facilities have potential to serve as places of ‘health enhancement’ for many underserved populations, particularly among people with physical/mobility disabilities where walking outdoors to meet recommendations for regular physical activity is not an option due to mobility or safety issues.

Objective

To examine the accessibility and usability of fitness facilities across the U.S. from a broader framework of physical and program access.

Methods

A convenience sample of 227 fitness facilities in 10 states were assessed by trained evaluators using the Accessibility Instrument Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments (AIMFREE) tool. Non-parametric tests were performed to determine whether AIMFREE section scores were different by geographic region (urban, suburban), business type (nonprofit, for-profit), facility affiliation (fitness center/health club, park district/community center, hospital/rehabilitation facility, university/college), and facility construction date (pre/post passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA). Raw scores were converted to scaled scores with higher scores indicating better accessibility based on a criterion-referenced approach.

Results

Section scale scores (11/13) were low (<70) with differences found across facility affiliation. While facilities built after passage of the ADA had higher accessibility scores compared to pre-ADA facilities, only programs and water fountains had scaled scores ≥70 regardless of facility construction date.

Conclusions

There exists a strong and urgent need to encourage owners and operators of fitness facilities to reach a higher level of accessibility. Until then, many people with physical/mobility disabilities will continue to have limited access to programs, equipment, and services offered at these facilities.

2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating – Gallup-Sharecare

Source: Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index

This report, part of the Gallup-Sharecare State of American Well-Being series, examines healthy eating across the nation, ranking 189 communities based on the question ‘Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?’ The rankings show a wide range of results – with the highest communities having more than three quarters of their citizens report eating healthy all day the previous day compared to just over half among the lowest healthy eating communities.

Gallup-Sharecare 2016 Community Rankings for Healthy Eating

In 2016, many of the top healthy eating communities are located in California, with ten California-based communities in the top 25. Florida has four communities in the top 25, and Texas and Arizona each claim two top spots. The highest healthy eating community in the country is Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL, a community that also had the highest well-being in the country for the last two years. Barnstable Town, MA was number two in healthy eating, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA, Salinas, CA, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, and Santa Rosa, CA – all of which had more than 72% of their citizens report healthy eating.

The lowest rates of healthy eating come from states such as Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana – with each of these states having two communities in the lowest 25. Lubbock, TX, Memphis, TN, Cincinnati, OH, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC, Clarksville, KY, Lexington-Fayette, KY, and Wichita, KS each have less than 57% of their citizens eating healthy. Seven of the ten lowest healthy eating communities are also among the lowest communities for overall well-being.

Download the latest Well-Being Index reports