Prescriptions Must Address More than Medicines
Where we live, work, and play can have a far greater impact on our health than the treatment we may receive at a clinic or hospital. In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted a national survey which found that four out of five physicians believed that the need to address social needs of patients is just as important as our medical needs. This displays that doctors are recognizing that we must connect the worlds both inside and outside of the clinic in order to truly improve the health outcomes of patients.
In Boston, an organization by the name of Health Leads is doing just that. Rather than a prescription for a medication, Health Leads provides a prescription to solve the root of poor health outcomes to those in need, prescribing basic resources such as heating, housing, electricity, and more. In addition, college-student advocates provide assistance to patients in the waiting rooms of clinics, connecting them to the needed community services. This alternative prescription is one great step in making progress for the health of communities, striving to create a culture of health for all.