A major report on health released this week provides further evidence that where we live makes a difference in how well and how long we live. Our 8th District is experiencing not only an opportunity gap economically, but a health gap that is largely influenced by access to quality education, jobs, and safe, affordable housing.
In addition to the challenges presented to those communities of color, the report explores troubling trends among our nation’s children and youth, including teen pregnancy and children in poverty. According to Dr. Richard Besser, President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that produced the report, “We can’t be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind.”
We live in a nation that prides itself on being a land of opportunity. In reality, some of the choices we make depend on the opportunities we have. While we might believe everyone has a fair chance regardless of where we live, how we are treated, or the circumstances of our birth, health disparities emerge when some groups have more access to opportunities and resources over their lifetime.
These differences are often the result of policies and actions of our elected representatives. This might be through unfair lending practices, funding for education and even law enforcement. With your help and support, we can change how things are done.
You can learn more about the health rankings of each county within the 8th district through the link below. I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me and together we can move forward on creating even greater opportunities for the residents of our region. http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/