Health systems have an array of assets - financial capital, land and expertise - that can be put to work to address social determinants of health. Investing in community-led health can be a significant part of hospitals' efforts to contain health costs while improving patient outcomes.
Health Equity Zones, or HEZ, are geographic areas where residents experience a disproportionate share of identified health inequities. They can be used by healthcare systems, public health departments, and community-based organizations to organize and align their work to identify and eliminate these inequities.
Health equity zones are a place-based approach that brings people in a defined geographic area together to build stronger relationships and invest in community-led solutions to address priority health issues. It’s an innovative and scalable strategy that can be adapted by health departments across the country to address the social determinants of health.
The Rhode Island Department of Health is leveraging federal, state, and local sources of prevention, categorical disease, and population health funding to create place-based “Health Equity Zones,” geographic areas designed to achieve health equity by eliminating health disparities and promoting healthy communities.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) are non-profit membership organizations that focus on issues and concerns at the local level, such as housing, health, education, microfinance and safe water and sanitation. They often work with people of low incomes and may be part of larger, government-run systems.
Community organization is a form of organizational organizing that includes direct action and social and political mobilization. It involves a variety of strategies such as inclusive networking, interpersonal organizing, listening, reflexivity, cooperation, mutual aid and social care, prefiguration, popular education, and direct democracy.
In addition to addressing specific issues, most CBOs also work on multiple issues at once. For example, the Magnolia Community Initiative in New Haven, Connecticut, is a collaborative effort that engages government, nonprofit and private entities to improve the lives of residents.
Despite the importance of community organizations in the health sector, there is limited scholarly literature examining their characteristics and their role in community-led health. This scoping review provides a brief overview of the available research and is intended to inform future studies.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - once thought of as financing tools best suited for infrastructure projects - have started to emerge as innovative solutions to expanding and improving health access. They can create economies of scale and expand access to care to underserved populations.
One PPP model involves the public sector partnering with the private sector to provide clinical services in exchange for payments from patients or insurance companies. It is more efficient than traditional government-run healthcare delivery and can lead to higher quality outcomes.
In contrast, partnerships aimed at addressing NCDs have a higher chance of being in conflict with private partners' business interests. In this context, governments should air on the side of caution and avoid establishing partnerships that negatively impact health.
As globalization has connected currencies more closely than ever before, protecting purchasing power worldwide is critical for consumers and businesses. Central banks often adjust interest rates to keep prices stable and maintain purchasing power.
To ensure that their money can be used to purchase goods and services, people need to plan their budgets and make sure their savings have an investment return greater than the rate of inflation. This is especially important for retirees, who rely on a fixed amount of money to fund their retirement.
In order to promote community-led health, we need to reorient health financing schemes to move towards the prevention and promotion of health rather than just providing facility-based care. This means bringing health to the forefront of public policy. It also requires communities to be more involved in decisions about health and how resources are used.