Improving health at the regional level helps create vibrant communities
When people are healthy and healthy, they can better contribute to the good of their families and to society.
Health First Foundation Northern Arizona is dedicated to fundraising and distribution to advance the health and wellness of the community throughout the region. The foundation assesses the health needs of our communities and brings together donors and community collaborators to support initiatives that have a lasting impact on well-being. The following question and answer format characterizes community health and explains why it is so important.
Q: What is community health?
A: Simply put, community health is the physical and mental well-being of people in a specific place. We take a look at the community health of northern Arizona as a whole, but we also take a closer look at the health and well-being of people in a particular neighborhood or city. There are many indicators that can measure aspects of community health. One indicator would be the number of medical screenings received by members of a community each year. Another would be a community’s access to nutritious food and clean water. Another would be access to preventive care and health education. These and other factors can tell us about the health of a community and its members.
Q: Why should we care about community health?
A: Good health promotes full and prosperous lives for individuals and communities. When people are healthy and healthy, they can better contribute to the good of their families and to society. We care about community health because individual lives and the vitality of our communities are at stake.
Q: What is ideal for community health?
A: A healthy community is where all people have easy access to quality education, adequate employment, quality health care, safe home and work environments, and built environments like parks. , trails, trails and athletic fields that promote outdoor activities and socialization. These broad categories are known as the social determinants of health. Communities that excel in these areas tend to thrive and prosper. Deficiencies in any of these areas can lead to deteriorating health and unhealthy environments.
Q: What is an example of a social determinant that affects health in northern Arizona?
A: Location, or where one lives, can affect health. Many people in our region live in rural areas, which can provide health benefits. For example, people in rural areas tend to have less stress and fewer respiratory illnesses. However, rural residents often live far from essential goods and services, such as nutritious food and health care. One of the factors contributing to rising accident death rates in rural Arizona is the remoteness of emergency services. In addition, many rural residents will forgo routine health checkups, dental care and mental health care due to the lack of health professionals and facilities in their immediate area.
Q: How does the Health First Foundation help?
A: Health First Foundation works with community and nonprofit partners, funding innovative and impactful initiatives that address key health needs in the region. Each year, it awards Northern Arizona Community Health Grants to the most promising programs to improve health in our five counties – Yavapai, Mohave, Coconino, Apache and Navajo. The foundation also grants special grants when circumstances warrant. For example, last year it awarded $ 100,000 in pandemic mitigation grants to Navajo and Hopi nonprofits. To date, the Health First Foundation has invested $ 17 million in improving health. These dollars have had a direct positive impact on the health of over 500,000 people. That’s about a $ 34 investment in each person’s health. Wouldn’t you donate $ 34 to positively impact the health of a family member, friend or community member?
Q: How do you know these numbers?
A: The foundation closely monitors the impact and results of each program it funds. And even more people benefit from the work of the foundation. When a person achieves optimal health, it tends to have a positive ripple effect on family members and the community. That’s the goal: to continue working to improve health and wellness until there is lasting vitality in every corner of every community in northern Arizona.
Q: How can people get involved?
A: Make health a priority in your daily life and inspire others to make health a priority. The bottom line: we cannot achieve our full potential without good health. You can also join the foundation and its partners in making health a priority by volunteering or donating to the Health First Community Fund. NBF
By Deirdre R. Meldrum
Dr. Deirdre R. Meldrum, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Biosignature Discovery at Arizona State University, Director of the Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, and Full Professor of Electrical Engineering in Schools of engineering Ira A. Fulton. . She is a member of the National Academy of Inventors for her significant innovations in health technology. Dr Meldrum is also vice chairman of the board of directors of the Health First Foundation. The Health First Community Fund is a global campaign to improve health in our region. To learn more about the fund or to donate, visit the Health First Foundation website, healthfirstforall.org.