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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Drexel: Partners with Department of Health to Map Health Disparities in Philadelphia

Advances in screening and treatments for a broad range of chronic diseases have led to improvements in health, yet many lack access to such care. New research from the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH) and partners shows the influence of a range of these factors on the wellbeing of Philadelphia residents.

They found the economic and social factors that influence an individual’s health and well-being were at the heart of the issue. These factors, commonly referred to as the “social determinants of health,” can include an individual’s access to a quality education, a good income, having a support system, and living in a safe neighborhood.

In August, DSPH researchers led by Dr. Jana Hirsch, an assistant research professor at the Urban Health Collaborative (UHC), along with Ms. Kari Moore, a UHC research and data co-lead, partnered with the City of Philadelphia Department of Health to assess health across the city and publish “Close to Home: The Health of Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods.”

The report illuminated the significant contrast in health outcomes for residents in the City’s 46 neighborhoods with the intent of improving actions by policymakers, health care providers and citizens to reduce health disparities. The report zeroed in on social and economic factors, and health outcomes, such as those for chronic kidney disease and mental health and found life expectancy differences of nearly 20 years, in some cases, among residents who lived just a few miles apart.

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