This Tool Measures How Far States And The US Are From Meeting Health and Well-Being Goals

Articles | August 7 2018

By Brian D. Smedley, Dennis P. Andrulis, Steven H. Woolf;

Opportunity is a core US value. All who reside in this country should have a fair chance to achieve their full potential, regardless of who they are or where they were born or live. While many think of opportunity in the context of education, occupation, and income, these resources are also a key pathway to health. But many millions of Americans are unable to realize their full potential, including optimal health, due to circumstances frequently beyond their personal control in the communities where they work, live, study, and play.

Ensuring that everyone can be as healthy, prosperous, and successful as possible is not only consistent with US values of fairness and inclusiveness, but is also good for the nation’s economic growth and vitality. To better understand, assess, and accelerate the nation’s progress toward improving the opportunity for health and well-being for all, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, the Texas Health Institute, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health launched the Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative in July. The HOPE Initiative measures include 28 indicators of opportunity, including not only population health status, but also the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health and well-being.

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