Supplemental Health, Healthcare 101

National Public Health Week: Healthier People Mean Healthier Communities

04/05/2022

Where we live can have a significant impact on our access to affordable, quality healthcare. Our country’s most impoverished communities face the biggest barriers to healthcare services. Research shows that the poorest states in America also have the poorest health; of the 25 states with the worst healthcare systems, only two have a higher median household income than the U.S. median of $65,7131.

Many of these communities face significant obstacles that prevent their residents from accessing the healthcare services they need. Lack of transportation options, limited healthcare providers located nearby, food insecurity and food deserts, pollution and poor air quality — these and other challenges can make it harder for people to adopt healthy lifestyles and get the healthcare they need.

To address this disparity, many healthcare agencies and organizations are taking a closer look at public health — the policies, strategies and initiatives aimed at improving and protecting the physical, mental and emotional health of people and their communities. Running April 4 through April 10, National Public Health Week provides an opportunity for all of us focus on ways we can help make our communities healthier, stronger and safer. 

 

What You Can Do 

Even as an individual, there are steps you can take in your own community to help promote public health. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

  1. Look for the public health resources available close to you to determine what’s there and what’s lacking.
  1. Join or start a community garden, donate to your local food pantry, or volunteer for a meal delivery service for homebound community members.
  1. Encourage your local lawmakers to invest in public health resources such as parks, sidewalks, bike lanes, libraries, and other safe communal spaces 
  1. Help isolated community members get to doctors’ appointments, screenings and vaccination clinics, and volunteer to provide companionship.
  1. Engage your family, friends, neighbors, and community members in community-wide physical activities such as bike rides, weekly neighborhood walks, or yoga in the park.
  1. Ask your HR department at work to create and implement an employee wellness program and offer carpooling or public transit vouchers.
  1. Make sure your community’s schools offer nutritional breakfasts and lunches, and safe spaces for physical activity for children.
  1. Volunteer to beautify outdoor environments, plant trees, and improve landscaping in public spaces. 

 

Health Insurance Is a Public Health Issue 

Having better access to public health resources includes having better access to affordable, quality health insurance. Studies find that people who don’t have health insurance have worse access to care than people who are insured. Research also shows that uninsured people are less likely than those with insurance to get preventative care and services for major health conditions and chronic diseases2. 

With more options for affordable health insurance, people have the care they need to live happier, healthier lives. This in turn allows communities to thrive. For National Public Health Week — and beyond — we’re doing our part to help people find the right health coverage at a price they can afford. We’re also connecting individuals to a range of tools, resources and information to help manage and improve their own health, as well as the health of their communities.  

Reach out to us today at (800) 467-4898 to learn more.  

 

  1. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/25-states-with-worst-health-care-systems/ss-BB1gRX7a
  2. https://www.kff.org/uninsured/issue-brief/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/

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