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The Pulse: Health on the Docket, Burwell v. King

Written by Build Healthy Places Staff on July 2, 2015

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Welcome to The Pulse, the monthly newsletter of the Build Healthy Places Network. Each month we compile a short and sweet round-up of what smart people are talking about, researching, and doing to make neighborhoods and lives healthier. Click here to receive The Pulse in your inbox.


On SCOTUS: The Supreme Court gave headline writers a workout in June: ACAhousingmarriage equality in short order. Celebration commence. Not so fast. While SCOTUS’s decision on Burwell is heartening, as our own ED Dr. Doug Jutte reminds us, access to affordable healthcare is only the first step.

ICYMI: Missed our inaugural #NetworkCommons? Don’t despair, we’ve pulled out some highlights from the first in our series of live discussions. Here’s an enticing clip of three innovators explaining how community development can add value to the health sector. We’ll be gathering online again in August to hear from the public health perspective. Register here and stay tuned. Speaking of collaboration, the movement is growing! The BUILD Health Challengeannounced 18 winners.  Congrats!

Read this: Pope to urban planners: Build better neighborhoods for the poor. Amen. Our own Jeni Miller adds to that call, writing at The Hill that climate change will continue to wreak the most havoc on low-income communities until we work to make those communities more resilient in all respects. The Ford Foundation sends an undeniable signal that inequality is the root cause of far too many problems, health inequities among them. A new tool, the National Health Equity Index, will help document them. Plus, how schools are helping poor children succeed by becoming hubs of health and social services. Reminds us of the story of how a school cut absenteeism by adding a washer and dryer for families to use (just read it).

And this: Peter Dreier: If community development wants to reduce poverty and build stronger communities, they need to tackle more than place—including low wages, corporate deck-stacking, and income inequality. “Prevention isn’t reimbursable”… yet. A call for accountable care communities from Sanjay Gupta, and (critical) a call for better evidence of the impact of community on health.

On the blog: Former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Howard Koh, in a message to new doctors: Embrace a community approach to health and well-being. A new report makes the case for Medicaid to fund assisted living—or better yet, housing in general. And in Pennsylvania, a wealthy county’s poorer residents get a healthy place to live.

Map this: Dean and Professor of the Boston University School of Public Health Sandro Galea presents a pictorial essay of health in New York and Chicago by subway and el stop.

Where we’ve been: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “First Friday” Google hangout. Our own Colby Dailey shared the panel with Don Schwarz (RWJF) and Rebecca Morley (Health Impact Project) to discuss the role of community development, architecture, and design in promoting community health, and the Health Impact Assessment tool—the x factor that may better connect health and community development. More of a visual person? Great Storify of the eventInvesting in What Works sells its 50,000th copy and we were at the celebration. Eric Belsky made the case that the determinants of economic mobility and health are largely the same. And Doug Jutte joined fellow health researchers at AcademyHealth’s annual research meeting in Minneapolis. His main takeaway: optimism about the growing attention to prevention and social determinants of health. Thanks to Vin Tufo and Pam Koprowski from @VitaStamford for stopping by the Network! Our readers should consider stopping by their website too. It’s a fantastic example of public-private partnership between a hospital and community to improve a low-income neighborhood.

And, stay in touch: Follow us on Twitter @BHPNetwork and sign up to receive The Pulse in your inbox. And if you like what you read, share widely.