Health Policy


Place Matters: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All

PLACE MATTERS for health in important ways, according to a growing body of research. Differences in neighborhood conditions powerfully predict who is healthy, who is sick, and who lives longer. And because of patterns of residential segregation, these differences are the fundamental causes of health inequities among different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and its Place Matters Teams are pleased to add to the existing knowledge base with this report, Place Matters for Health: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All. The report, supported by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health and written in conjunction with the Center on Human Needs at the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Network for Geospatial Health Research, provides a summary of our analyses of the social, economic, and environmental conditions that exist in selected PLACE MATTERS communities and documents their relationship to the health status of residents of these communities.

The overall pattern in our series of Community Health Equity Reports, as this summary makes clear, suggests that we need to tackle the structures and systems that create and perpetuate inequality to fully close racial and ethnic health gaps. Accordingly, because the Joint Center seeks not only to document these inequities, we are committed to helping remedy them.

Through our PLACE MATTERS initiative, which is generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we are working with leaders in 24 communities around the country to identify and address social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health. We look forward to continuing to work with leaders in these and other communities to ensure that every child, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or place of residence, can enjoy the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, and productive life.

Read the report here.