Measuring the Health of a Community?

What makes for a healthy community or a healthy city? How would you go about measuring such a thing? What indicators would you look at? The Health Equity Index developed by the Connecticut based Health Equity Alliance takes a crack at this by looking at different social determinants of health. The Index looks at  “community conditions associated with higher rates of poor health.”

The Index is based on a set of nine social determinants:

  1. Economic Security and Financial Resources
  2. Livelihood Security and Employment Opportunity
  3. School Readiness and Educational Attainment
  4. Environmental Quality
  5. Civic Involvement and Political Access
  6. Availability and Utilization of Quality Health Care Services
  7. Adequate, Affordable, and Safe Housing
  8. Community Safety and Security
  9. Transportation

The Health Equity Alliance is piloting this in 3 Connecticut Cities (Groton, Hartford, and New Haven). They’ll be looking the relation between these social determinants and data on health ” to reveal conditions that are associated with poorer health at the neighborhood and/or town level by race, age, place of residence, household composition, education, and income level.” Looks like a really interesting project.

–Jeff Prudhomme

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