UNNATURAL CAUSES is inequality making us sick? HEALTH EQUITY research topics and resources to learn more
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Image Thumbnail Smart Growth Online E-mail to a friend

In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined with several non-profit and government organizations to form the Smart Growth Network (SGN). The Network was formed in response to increasing community concerns about the need for new ways to grow that boost the economy, protect the environment, and enhance community vitality.  The Network's partners include environmental groups, historic preservation organizations, professional organizations, developers, real estate interests; local and state government entities.

Image Thumbnail Still Toxic After All These Years: Air Quality and Environmental Justice in the San Francisco Bay Area (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by the Center for Justice, Tolerance, & Community, UC Santa Cruz

From West Oakland's diesel-choked neighborhoods to San Francisco's traffic-snarled Mission District to the fenceline communities abutting Richmond's refineries, poor and minority residents of the San Francisco Bay Area get more than their share of exposure to air pollution and environmental hazards, this report finds.

Image Thumbnail Tackling the Root Causes of Health Disparities Through Community Capacity Building (pdf) E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Anthony Iton. Chapter in Tackling Health Inequities Through Public Health Practice: A Handbook for Action

Iton explains how legacies of structural poverty, instituional racism, and other systemic injustices shape the environment in which all public health efforts take place. Thus, to successfully address a community's health, public health workers and policy officials need to take such factors into account, and design their interventions based on the particular strengths and needs of each community, and build partnerships as much as possible with community members, advocates, activists and other stakeholders. Successful public health action depend ultimately on the empowerment of the community itself.

Image Thumbnail The biggest asthma trigger of them all? New studies indicate how poverty itself Is inflammatory E-mail to a friend
 Edith Chen, Ph.D at the Psychobiological Determinants of Health Lab at the University of British Columbia

Scientists such as Edith Chen, Ph.D, have found evidence that the very experience of poverty and the stress it induces might itself be an asthma “trigger.” Dr. Chen co-founded the Psychobiological Determinants of Health Lab at the University of British Columbia to better understand the pathways by which class gets under the skin and influences our heath.  Rather than focus on how material pollutants, like soot, disrupt our physiology Chen and her colleagues are investigating how ‘social pollutants’ – that is, toxic social environments can become embedded in our bodies and increase susceptibility to disease. 

Image Thumbnail The Biology of Disadvantage: Socioeconomic Status and Health E-mail to a friend
JOURNAL Nancy E. Adler  and Judith Stewart, eds. Annals of the New York Academy of Science

How does socioeconomic status get under the skin? This book summarizes the decade of research by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health “exploring the pathways and mechanisms that contribute to the gradient relationship between socioeconomic status and health.”

PDFs of each article are available online.  You may also purchase a complete copy of the journal.

Image Thumbnail The Funders Network E-mail to a friend

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities brings together foundations, nonprofit organizations and other partners to address the range of environmental, social, and economic problems caused by development strategies that fail to consider the big picture. Their Web site's resource section contains public documents published by the Funders' Network, as well as materials and information produced by other organizations, and links to selected community development organizations.

Image Thumbnail The Perfect Neighborhood E-mail to a friend

What comes to mind when you think of a healthy neighborhood? What does it take to make a neighborhood more healthy? Find out why conditions in some communities might be less favorable to health than others and what can be done to change them.

Image Thumbnail The Political Economy of Health Promotion: Part 2 - National Provision of the Prerequisites of Health E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Dennis Raphael, Health Promotion International, Dec 2011

Part 2 of two-part article published in Dec 2011 issue of Health Promotion International. Part 2 of this article documents the extent to which public policy activity that provides the prerequisites of health through public policy action differs among varying welfare state regimes.

Image Thumbnail The Poor Get Diabetes, the Rich Get Local and Organic E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Mark Winne

In this excerpt from his new book, Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, Mark Winne explains a growing split in the diets of the haves and have-nots; at the same time that the wealthy are coming to prefer organic and locally-grown foods, the poor have been losing geographical and economic access to healthy options. He also reports on a survey by the non-profit group Hartford Food System, which found that low-income consumers in the area would prefer to purchase organics and fresh foods, but simply couldn't access or afford them.

Image Thumbnail The Praxis Project E-mail to a friend

The Praxis Project is a national, nonprofit organization that builds partnerships with local groups to influence policymaking to address the underlying, systemic causes of community problems. Committed to closing the health gap facing communities of color, they forge alliances for building healthy communities. Praxis trains its partner organizations and provides research, technical assistance and financial support to tackle issues impacting the well being of communities. Their site contains an information resource center with additional resources and reports on equity and social justice.

Image Thumbnail The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Healthy, Equitable Transportation Reform in America (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT from PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, and the Convergence Partnership, 2009

This report synthesizes the insights and recommendations of a group of leading academic researchers and advocates working at the intersection of transportation policy, equity, and public health identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity.

Image Thumbnail THRIVE: The Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments E-mail to a friend

THRIVE is a tool developed by the Prevention Institute to help you understand and prioritize the factors within your own community that can help improve health and safety. The tool can help answer questions such as: How can I identify key factors in my community and rate their importance? How are these factors related to health outcomes? What can I do to address each factor? Where can I go for more information?

Image Thumbnail Too Young to Die: Part 1, Life's Toll E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2004

In Bayview-Hunters Point, the stress created by environmental problems, racism, poverty and crime may explain why so many babies die young. Infant mortality is twice as high here as in the rest of San Francisco.

Image Thumbnail Toward A Policy-Relevant Analysis Of Geographic And Racial/Ethnic Disparities In Child Health E-mail to a friend
SCHOLARLY ARTICLE by Acevedo-Garcia, Osypuk, McArdle and Williams, 2008

Extreme racial/ethnic disparities exist in children’s access to "opportunity neighborhoods." We need to move beyond conventional public health and health care approaches to consider policies to improve access to opportunity-rich neighborhoods through enhanced housing mobility, and to increase the opportunities for healthy living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Image Thumbnail Toxic Wastes and Race Revisited (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by Benjamin A. Goldman and Laura J. Fitton, 1994

An update on the 1987 report on the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of communities with hazardous waste sites. Co-sponsored by Center for Policy Alternatives, NAACP, and United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice

Image Thumbnail Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease E-mail to a friend
WEBSITE by The Milken Institute

This interactive website provides a wealth of information on the rates and costs of chronic disease broken down by geography and disease. In its groundbreaking study, “An Unhealthy America: The Economic Impact of Chronic Disease,” the Milken Institute details the enormous financial impact of chronic disease on the U.S. economy – not only in treatment costs, but lost worker productivity – today and in the decades ahead. It also describes the huge savings if a serious effort were made to improve Americans’ health.

Image Thumbnail Urban Settings (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, 2007

Focuses on urbanizations, particularly broad policy interventions related to healthy urbanization, and closely examines slum upgrading.

This is an interim report, submitted by the Urban Settings Knowledge Network to develop the Commission's final report in May 2008.

Image Thumbnail Where We Live Matters for Our Health: The Links Between Housing and Health E-mail to a friend
REPORT by the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America, Oct 2008

This issue brief focuses on three important and inter-related aspects of residential housing and their links to health: the physical conditions within homes; conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding homes; and housing affordability, which not only shapes home and neighborhood conditions but also affects the overall ability of families to make healthy choices.

Image Thumbnail Why Place & Race Matter: Impacting health through a Focus on Race and Place E-mail to a friend

This report builds on PolicyLink's earlier work to look more intentionally and explicitly at race and ethnicity and what they mean in the context of building healthy communities. "Why Place and Race Matter" dives deeply into these issues and profiles dynamic groups and initiatives throughout California and beyond. Although approaches vary, each illuminates the interplay among people, place, and race. We hope these strategies and profiles will facilitate the exchange of ideas, encourage partnerships across disciplines and sectors, and stimulate action to build healthy communities.

Image Thumbnail Why Place Matters: Building a Movement for Healthy Communities (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT by J. Bell and V. Rubin, PolicyLink.org

This report explains the framework of place (economic, social, physical, and service environments) to understand the relationship between community conditions and health, analyzes the connections among all the environmental factors that contribute to a healthy community, and identifies environmental effects on community health.

Image Thumbnail Youth Empowerment Strategies (YES!) Anti-Violence Program in Richmond, California E-mail to a friend

Learn more about YES! - the after-school youth anti-violence program featured in "Place Matters."

Image Thumbnail Zip Code as Important as Genetic Code in Childhood Obesity E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE in Science Daily, 2012

Report on a new study that indicate that where a child lives, including factors such as the neighborhood's walkability, proximity to higher quality parks, and access to healthy food, has an important effect on obesity rates. 

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