Urban Fold

You've Got a Friend in Me: Community Development and Health Sectors Working Together

Sixty percent of premature deaths are accounted for not by medical care or lack thereof, but by social circumstances, environmental conditions, and behavioral patterns. So perhaps the medical field on its own can't prevent them.

Increasingly, studies highlighting one's zip code as a major social determinant of health are opening up the conversation between the community development and health sectors. But talking isn't enough. Until recently, the two sectors have worked in parallel worlds. In their Shelterforce piece, David Erickson and Nancy O. Andrews push for the health sector to see the community development field as a partner in its fight for better health for all-and vice versa.

The community development field's interaction with health is often indirect-increasing access to safe neighborhoods, jobs, and affordable housing options all have long term effects on the stress and wellness of people. There are ways for the two sectors to directly work together, however, including coming together to make federally qualified health centers the bridge between hospital clinics and community development financial institutions. The fields must tap into these opportunities for collaboration to achieve success at a large scale.

Thanks to Brittany Stanley

Full Story: Better Together

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