As part of an overall framework for our grantmaking, our advocacy and our leadership, the Community Foundation is focusing on four key Results, including this one: People can lead healthy lives.
In a state ranked 49th most obese and 48th most unhealthy in the nation, our residents face major challenges from high rates of many preventable chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Driven by poor nutrition and lack of physical activity, obesity exacts a tremendous cost in human lives as well as significant economic costs. The Center for Disease Control estimates obesity costs the United States health care system $147 billion a year.
We choose – for ourselves, for our children, for our families, what we eat. We choose how much we move. But those choices take place in an environment that shapes our decisions. The good news is that we can change those environments, and change the policies that govern our environment as a whole. We are already making great strides through our role as a leader in the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership, a coalition including more than 100 partners working to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Access to health care is another important issue that affects vulnerable populations, including low-income children, seniors, homeless people and other at-risk populations. Race, gender, educational attainment, beliefs and attitudes, transportation, availability of physicians – all these factors may impact an individual’s ability to access health care.
We are committed to helping remove these barriers to quality and affordable health care and to shaping the context of our community so that more people can lead healthy lives.
Our grants for this Result focus on two strategies:
- Improve nutrition and healthy food access and increase physical activity.
- Improve access to care for vulnerable populations.