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The Connection between Place and Health: Resources for Reporters and Bloggers

The Connection between Place and Health: Resources for Reporters and Bloggers

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Is geography destiny? At today's Community Health and the Blogosphere conference (Twitter hashtag #uscbloggercon), participants wanted to know more about the ways in which where you live affects your health. If you're interested in learning more for your reporting or blogging, here are some resources from ReportingonHealth and beyond.

MEDIA COVERAGE: A number of recent news articles and documentaries have examined the connections between geography or zip code and the health of a community. Here's a sampling:

Shortened Lives: This four-part series was written by California Health Journalism Fellows Sandy Kleffman and Suzanne Bohan for the Bay Area News Group. Bohan wrote this blog post about the series for ReportingonHealth.  

Grand Junction: A Model for Health Reform?: This new Colorado Public News five-part series by National Health Journalism Fellow William Scanlon examines how this city's health providers worked together to provide high quality health care at a low cost. Could it be a model for national health reform?

Unnatural Causes: This PBS series explores the causes of socioeconomic and racial health inequities.

RESOURCES: These resources provide context, background and statistics to help you learn more about indicators of your community's health.

HealthyCity: This new California project allows people from the community to map health information to galvanize advocacy around health issues. HealthyCity is holding a launch webinar on March 3.

Place Matters: This Powerpoint presentation outlines how one New Mexico community is mapping the social and environmental conditions that affect health.

Healthy Development Measurement Tool: Check out this tool developed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health to measure the health of individual neighborhoods. The information is used in urban planning.

Health Equity Resources: Ranging from websites to datasets to video clips, these resources were collected by the producers of the Unnatural Causes documentary.

County Health Rankings: This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project used the same methodology to rank the health of the nation's counties. Here is a recent post I wrote about how journalists can use this new tool. The foundation's president also blogged about the rankings on the influential Health Care Blog.

Place and health online chat: Kleffman and Bohan conducted an online chat with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher on health disparities, which is archived here.

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