Good Health is More Than You Think
For too long we’ve defined good health as simply the abscence of illness. However, chronic illnesses and medical conditions don’t typically happen overnight. Health begins and ends with eating right and exercising. Having access to healthcare and quality food, especially fresh produce, are also critical to maintaining good health and avoiding chronic sickness.
Beyond physical wellness is mental health. Environmental factors can impede health as well. Stress, poverty, and unsafe neighborhoods can all influence health — especially mental and emotional. Constant exposure to those types of factors takes a toll on overall health.
According to the 2015 Kelly Report, the Black community experiences the highest mortality rates in most of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. Those numbers are linked to social determinants such as poverty and unsafe neighborhoods.
That’s why the Health Gap works to educate and empower those vulnerable populations to take control of their own health by eating better, exercising more, monitoring their health, and helping their neighbors do the same. Through education, advocacy and outreach, the Health Gap is building a culture of health to make Cincinnati healthier for everyone.
Your ZIP Code Matters
Environment: Our social, economic and physical environments make an impact on us every day. Where we spend our days directly affects our health. In fact, communities with smoke-free air laws, access to healthy foods, quality affordable housing, good schools and safe places to play are generally healthier than those that don’t. Just look at Cincinnati for instance. The average life expectancy of an Indian Hill resident is 86 years while in Avondale it’s 72 years. The same city, yet there’s nearly a 15 year age gap in how long a resident of either is likely to live.
Education and Economic Stability: Major health influences happen outside of the traditional healthcare setting. The body of research showing social factors such as education, childcare, income, housing, and neighborhood conditions positively and negatively influence health continues to build. Known as social determinants, we work with communities where there are disparities in those factors to mitigate and eliminate them.
Access to Healthcare: This can include everything from the level of quality care to geographic access. Oftentimes medical options in impoverished areas are understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed. This leads to people waiting to see a doctor too late, receiving incomplete information and experiencing lower overall care. Our goal is to make it more convenient and accessible by working with local healthcare systems and also through our annual Health Expo.
Closing the Gap Together
Health Promotion and Education: The health care system is challenging to understand, as is managing your personal health. Our grassroots strategies and community-health initiatives help people get better information so they can make better health decisions.
Civic Engagement and Community Building: We encourage Cincinnati communities to support good health for all by teaching people to advocate for access to better health care, food, and education.
Collaboration, Between community, governments, health institutions: Simultaneously working with communities, healthcare organizations and civic leaders, we address health inequities through policy change, initiatives and education.
Take a closer look at some of the key issues that we have been targeting to address and reduce health disparities in our community and for a greater understanding of our model.