improving health and wellness
The saying, "A person’s health is determined more by zip code than genetic code" has been proven through research and studies to be true, especially within our community. We know that a significant portion of what contributes to a child’s wellness is related to the environment in which they are raised. Therefore, if we want health to improve, we have to intentionally work with the community to improve conditions related to positive health.
Consider a child with asthma who may receive medication and education from a pediatrician, but lives in a home with mold, pests and secondhand smoke. These factors can cause the child's asthma to become uncontrolled. Social determinants of health such as poverty, lack of quality affordable housing, exposure to violence and neglect, and food insecurity are critical to detracting from a child’s health and wellbeing. This is why community health is important.
Dayton Children’s has a history of engaging with the community and working to improve health conditions through our community health programs. However, through the creation of the Center for Health Equity, we have taken our commitment to optimal health for all children to the next level with a deep investment in resources, research, strategy and structure.
The Center for Health Equity employs new and innovative approaches to reduce disparities and improve community health. Every decision, initiative and program is anchored to data, outcomes and evaluation. The Center supports the hospital’s transformation from a health care delivery organization to an institution of wellness by:
- Recognizing where health disparities exist
- Identifying health outcomes to improve
- Supporting clinical staff in health equity improvement activities
- Researching and evaluating interventions to decrease disparities
Dayton Childrens is committed to creating community-based programs to address the social determinants of health including the Family Resource Connection,and the Dayton Asthma Alliance. As the Center for Health Equity grows and engages the community to identify priorities and interests, our programming will continue to evolve to meet those needs.