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. 

Commentary
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.

Commentary

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.

Local Policy Responses to Housing Voucher Discrimination

People who receive vouchers or other forms of federal or local housing assistance are not protected from discrimination by federal fair housing or civil rights laws, and in most places, landlords can legally refuse to rent to voucher holders. Researchers will assess whether and under what conditions state and local protections reduce landlord discrimination and improve the rate at which voucher holders are successful at finding housing.

A Healthy Start to Life: How Medicaid Expansion Improves Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes

Birth outcomes, including infant mortality and low birth weight, are shockingly poor in the U.S. Researchers will assess whether the ACA increased intended pregnancies, reduced prepregnancy smoking, and affected contraception and birth outcomes among women covered by Medicaid--and whether these changes reduced disparities across racial and ethnic groups.

Medicaid Work Requirements: Results from the First Year in Arkansas

In June 2018, Arkansas became the first state to implement work requirements in Medicaid. Benjamin D. Sommers, Anna L. Goldman, Robert J. Blendon, E. John Orav, and Arnold M. Epstein of Harvard University provide the first independent assessment of early changes in beneficiary coverage and employment after the work requirements went into effect.