Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities

The places where we live, learn, work, and play all contribute to our ability to become and stay healthy. A Culture of Health means everyone has the basics to be as healthy as possible—like access to quality education, employment opportunities, and safe, clean neighborhoods across rural and urban settings. 

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Policies for Action is entering its fifth year with a growing community of researchers across the country and a maturing pipeline of research to support critical policy development. Find out how we're expanding the quality and reach of our work in 2020.

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As shoppers prepare for the holidays with trips to the mall, supermarket, and big box stores, many workers who stock the shelves and work the registers are scrambling to piece together child care to match their unpredictable work schedules.

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A unique partnership in Minnesota is linking data about health, human services, housing, and criminal justice to increase our understanding of risk factors and protective factors for children entering foster care. But how do we ensure we tailor our research approach to fit the complicated lives of real parents, caregivers, and children?

Legal Levers for Health Equity in Housing

The U.S. housing system has created a chronic affordability gap and persistently inequitable and unhealthy living conditions. Law plays an important role in shaping that system, but there is too much unknown about the impact of housing laws and policies on health and health equity. This report series by the P4A Research Hub at the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law aims to highlight these gaps, and to suggest areas for research and action needed to produce healthier communities.

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Housing in the United States is in bad shape. There are not enough units, and where there are units, they are often not affordable, and not in the right places. These problems are a result of the U.S. housing system, which is a complex set of people, organizations, laws, and conditions that interact to produce our current housing arrangements. This system has created a chronic shortage and affordability gap and persistently inequitable, segregated, and unhealthy living conditions for millions of Americans.

Who Cares If Parents Have Unpredictable Work Schedules?: The Association Between Just-in-Time Work Schedules and Child Care Arrangements

Low-income working parents often face routine uncertainty in their schedules because of “just-in-time” scheduling practices that offer workers little notice of when they will be expected to work. In a new working paper, Kristen Harknett, Daniel Schneider, and Sigrid Luhr of P4A’s Research Hub at University of California, Berkeley, examine the consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules on child care arrangements.

Gentrification and the Health of Low-Income Children in New York City

At this time, little is known about the health consequences of growing up in gentrifying neighborhoods. Many observers worry that gentrification could heighten stress and undermine children’s health, but it may also bring changes to low-income areas that enhance health. Kacie Dragan, Ingrid Ellen, and Sherry A. Glied, representing P4A’s NYU Wagner Research Hub, explore these issues in a new paper, focusing on children’s physical and mental health.

Cross-post

What could we gain if we committed to increasing diversity in research? P4A National Advisory Committee member Jewel Mullen, the associate dean for health equity at the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin, helps us explore this question.

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In fall 2018, we launched a new Policies for Action Research Hub at Vanderbilt to examine barriers to the healthy development and success of low-income children in Tennessee. We knew that building a strong, policy-focused research agenda would require open communication and a cooperative spirit among our state agencies and community health and education organizations.

Finding the Bright Spots: What Policies Make Communities Healthy?

Many factors influence the health and well-being of communities, including who can afford to live in them; local, state, and private-sector policies; and the availability of opportunities to live a healthy, engaged, and productive life. This project will seek to explain why some communities seem to have more opportunity and be healthier than others.