Director of the NH Health and Equity Partnership
125 Airport Road
Concord, NH 03301
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Addressing Environments Where We Live, Learn, Work and Play to Improve Health
The economic, social and environmental conditions individuals experience on a day-to-day basis play a significant role in shaping their health and quality of life. Factors related to individual and community health status that challenge most NH residents—finding a job or housing in troubled economic times, finding transportation options—also affect minority populations, often to a greater extent. It is the combination of factors related to where we live, learn, work and play that set the stage for health and well-being.
Environments - Key Points
- The neighborhoods we live in, and the context of daily living, directly influence our health and well-being. This includes housing, education, employment, safety and other factors.
- Accessible, affordable transportation is of crucial importance to ensure equality of opportunity to health care, education, housing, employment, and other essentials of daily life.
- Academic success and educational attainment are directly linked to an individual’s ability to achieve socio-economic success and well-being.
- Minorities face significant social, cultural and linguistic barriers in school that limit their chances for success.
- While NH’s minority population is growing, minorities are underrepresented in professional staff and management positions.
- Minorities often face greater challenges in living healthy lifestyles due to social, cultural and environmental factors including discrimination and social isolation.
Environments - Recommendations
- Increase opportunities for physical activity, access to healthy foods, and safety in neighborhoods in which minorities live, learn, work and play.
- Assist minority residents in securing housing in safe and accessible neighborhoods.
- Expand transportation options and improve use of existing options.
- Connect individuals to transportation for health visits, including chronic care treatment.
- Connect individuals to transportation for job interviews, regular employment, childcare, food shopping, ongoing education, and other activities that promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Education and Workforce Development
- Improve early childhood development and school-based programs’ cultural effectiveness.
- Integrate culturally competent programming into early childhood development and school-based programs to improve integration for racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities and their families.
- Expand accessibility and effectiveness of education and training opportunities for minorities.
- Reach out to and include minority residents in education and training opportunities including post-secondary education and vocational training programs.
- Encourage employers and labor unions to dedicate resources to recruitment, training and retention of racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities for staff and leadership positions.
- Support initiatives that encourage minority groups to build networks.
- Encourage networking and community building within ethnic groups, and deaf and hard of hearing communities to address issues of isolation.
- Encourage networking and community building between minority groups and the general population to foster integration
Current initiatives by NH H&EP Partners
The Endowment for Health and the NH Charitable Foundation are funding a four city Immigrant Integration Initiative to create more welcoming communities that benefit all residents. For more information see: http://www.endowmentforhealth.org/our-priorities/advancing-health-equity-for-racial-ethnic-and-language-minorities/immigrant-integration-initiative or contact Kelly Laflamme.
The Welcoming NH Statewide Committee meets every other month to network, share strategies and take collective action to create more welcoming communities. For more information contact Janeth Orozco Sanchez or go to: https://www.facebook.com/Welcomingnh