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Caring for Health Outside the Hospital

LISC is teaming up in Ohio with integrated health system ProMedica to address the myriad of ways that where we live affects our health. Their partnership includes a $45 million investment that will funnel grants, loans and technical expertise into revitalization efforts in distressed communities in Toledo and surrounding areas, including Toledo’s UpTown neighborhood.

This work is timely and important because we know that health is more than just health care.  So many variables in our immediate environment have a direct impact on our health. Do we live in housing free from contaminants and airborne irritants? Does the surrounding neighborhood have sidewalks to walk on and parks to play in? Is it safe to be outdoors? Are we able to earn a living wage, obtain fresh food and access affordable health services? These factors are known as the social determinants of health, and researchers believe that they have a greater impact on how well and how long we live than our genetic makeup. Hospitals are increasingly focusing on this link between health and the environments in which we live by taking steps to address health issues beyond their walls.

A focus on social determinants is nothing new for ProMedica. In its own studies, ProMedica found that financial status, employment, behavioral health and access to healthy food were among the most important factors affecting their patients’ overall health. In a recent article, we described how the health system has been acting as a key anchor in the Toledo community, impacting healthy food access, financial coaching and workforce development.

Through their new partnership, ProMedica and LISC will leverage ProMedica’s health knowledge and LISC’s community investment expertise to improve job skills and education so families can increase their incomes; invest in healthy homes and strong businesses; make communities safer and create more space and opportunities for exercise and recreation. The partnership will begin by investing in a recently announced initiative in UpTown called Ebeid Neighborhood Promise. LISC and ProMedica believe that this is just the beginning and that  the model they are creating will be replicated to improve health outcomes in communities across the nation.  

Read more about this innovative partnership for health and watch a video from LISC and ProMedica.

Find more information and resources on how to integrate health & wellness into community development.

Posted in Health & Wellness

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