If Baltimore City is going to meet Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's goal of increasing the number of City residents by 10,000 families by 2022, it will be important that the City be a place where children, youth, and families are healthy and successful in life. Although the Urban Health Institute is engaged in a number of projects to identify assets, social factors affecting health, and factors related to access to and use of health services, we also recognize that most people know little about data already in existence. Under the leadership of our Sr. Associate Director, Phil Leaf, the UHI recently completed a report, The Health and Well-being of Baltimore's Children, Youth, and Families: Opportunities and Challenges 2012 that demonstrates how existing data can be used to describe trends in Baltimore and the extent to which assets, health, and well being varies among the residents of Baltimore’s 55 Community Statistical Areas (CSAs).
For example, we found that that the substantial differences in income and employment in Baltimore’s communities was related to substantial variation in neighborhood health and well being. Although there were many similarities in the distribution of violence and other health problems, there were important differences. In addition, the health of some neighborhoods showed changes over time while others were more stable. These data in conjunction with City efforts to consider health in all policies and City School efforts to reduce health related impediments to school attendance and achievement suggest important opportunities for Baltimore. The opportunities are not likely to be actualized without increased public understanding of the social determinants of health and advocacy.
Our report found on the UHI Website, along with a number of reports from other agencies that were identified while developing the Health and Well Being Report. Based on the work already done and ongoing efforts to incorporate data that became available since the report was written, the UHI plans to host a series of discussions so that we can achieve a better understanding of the assets and social factors affecting the health and well being of Baltimore’s children, youth, and families and to support efforts to reduce the inequities identified in addition to efforts for promoting health and well being.
If you have interpretations of the data presented or suggestions for future reports, please contact Phil Leaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410 955-3962.