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Friday, January 29, 2010

Beyond health care

Colleen Haller

Staff Writer

Brian Smedley from the Health Policy Institute and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies moderated the discussion and Chinwe Onyekere from Project HEALTH and Carol Bryant Payne from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shared how they approached this issue and some of the success they've had.

Carol's background as a registered nurse has helped her transform the Department of Housing and Urban Development into an agency that looks at how social determinants like housing, food security, and environment affect health. She talked a lot about partnering with other agencies and community based organizations to attack this issue in individual communities.

Chinwe's work in urban hospitals has transformed the way physicians deliver care. Project HEALTH operates help desks in urban hospitals that help patients get connected to needed social services outside of health care like housing, food stamps, and other assistance. (Check out if Project HEALTH operates in your city and get involved!)

Health equity continues to be a tough issue to deal with, but communities across the country are making a difference and so can you!