Focus Policy Blog
PLACE MATTERS is a national initiative of the Joint Center, designed to build the capacity of local leaders around the country to identify and improve social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health. Interviews with six of the PLACE MATTERS teams were featured last week in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s NewPublicHealth blog. Follow along as we post excerpts throughout the week on why #PlaceMatters is key to eliminating health disparities.
Among the critical issues the Place Matters team is currently focused on are displacement, the built environment, and development and how those impact health, according to team communications lead Katherine Schaff…
“The Bay Area is undergoing rapid transformation and growth and development and we’re really trying to insert ourselves into multiple parts of that process to think more critically about how we’re developing our communities,” she said. “We’re also looking at displacement and gentrification and the impacts on communities, especially communities of color that might have been displaced multiple times over multiple generations and dealt with repetitive trauma that has had profound health impacts.”
A community-based organization, Causa Justa::Just Cause, recently released a report on gentrification and displacement, with the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Place Matters team contributing health impact research and data and policy analysis.
“This is one of the first instances we know of in the country where a community-based organization and a health department have worked together to define gentrification and displacement and analyze the impact at a local level, recommend policies that can be advanced to prevent displacement, and examine the links between gentrification, displacement and public health,” she said.
Morgan McLeod is the Program Assistant and New Media Strategist at the Joint Center