What is Health?
The World Health Organization defines Social Determinants of Health as circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics.
Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. We know that taking care of ourselves by eating well and staying active, not smoking, getting the recommended immunizations and screening tests, and seeing a doctor when we are sick all influence our health. Our health is also determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some Americans are healthier than others and why Americans more generally are not as healthy as they could be.
Community Health Needs Assessment
The Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement embraces the model above and explores these areas of Social Determinants of Health as part of its 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment. As a result, our newest priorities are categorized under the areas of LIVE, LEARN, WORK and PLAY:
LIVE: Health and Social
Wellness promotion and chronic disease prevention education
LIVE: Safety and Infrastructure
Safe roads and transportation
Access to affordable and adequate childcare options
Barriers to work
Access to safe and adequate recreation exercise and play opportunities
Get involved in a workgroup! Email Judy Crabtree at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.