Where you live impacts how long and how well you live
Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Having access to fewer socioeconomic resources, little education, and family income are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease risk factors and poor health outcomes.
COVID-19 has shed a bright light on these disparities and inequities, making the mission of the American Heart Association, to be a relentless force for a world of healthier and longer lives, more important than ever.
How the AHA is helping Houston
The AHA is leading efforts in the Greater Houston area to address social determinants of health that present barriers and challenges to our community’s most vulnerable from accessing healthcare and living heart healthy lives. Here are just a few examples of the critical work the AHA is doing:
Empowering thought leaders through the Greater Houston Coalition on Social Determinants of Health to create sustainable, data-driven solutions
Over the past 3 years, the coalition has grown to include 100 organizations in Harris County. The coalition seeks to establish an impactful, collective, sustainable, data-driven system to promote health equity within Greater Houston.
Advocating for policies that lead to long-term improvement across communities
The AHA has helped author the new Harris County Healthy Food Financing Initiative and secured $2M in appropriations. Additionally, the AHA was able to garner support from community leaders for mobile health units to serve unincorporated areas of Harris County to secure $1.28M in appropriations to roll out these mobile health units. The AHA is currently working with partners to optimize community engagement around SNAP (supplemental nutritional assistance program) for families to gain access to heart-healthy foods.
Facilitating collaborations with community organizations to build networks for healthy food distribution
In Acres Homes the AHA’s leadership fueled the creation of a monthly Farmers’ Market. Through Texas Farm Fresh boxes, the AHA is facilitating collaborations among organizations such as the new University of Houston College of Medicine and AHA donors and sponsors, to create a sustainable network for delivering heart-healthy food to individuals in transportation and food insecure communities.
To learn more and become involved with these efforts, please contact Kristin Luby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.747.1375.