Investing $10 a person into community health programs could return big dividends

18 07 2008

Good article in today’s Duluth News-Tribune.  It’s interesting that they note that some of the most successful programs have the hardest time finding funding.  DATA believes that creating opportuntities that are easily accessible to people – like building trails close to people’s homes so they don’t have to drive and creating bike lanes, paths and better sidewalks – can be the most successful programs.  Like the old adage says, “If you build it, they will come.”  We feel the same way about trails and bike lanes.  Some interesting quotes from the article:

“How much health does $10 a person buy? Invest that every year, and within five years the nation could cut health-care costs by more than $16 billion annually, concludes a new analysis by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health and a team ofpublic-health research groups.”

““We’ve got to change the mindset from treating sick people to preventing illnesses in the first place, and this report shows that we ought to be more serious about investing up front,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.”

“Researchers commended several innovative community health programs, such as a children’s health program in Dallas that has led to healthier eating and increased physical activity among several thousand children; and a bike network in Davis, Calif., that resulted in 25 percent of all travel within the city being on bikes.

However, the researchers found that many such programs lack funding, diminishing their potential for affecting community health. Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, said funding is a chronic problem for many preventative health initiatives.”

Full article here

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One response

18 07 2008
Allen Taylor

Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

Allen Taylor

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