Today we are ‘celebrating the power of rural’ with National Rural Health Day. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘health’? For many, it’s ‘healthcare’. While good quality healthcare is crucial, it’s just one factor in considering Social Determinants of Health. Social Determinants of Health are conditions in which people live, learn, work, play and age and how these conditions affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.
Why is addressing Social Determinants of Health important? It is the approach best suited for achieving health equity, which means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This is successful when everyone has the ability to attain their full health potential regardless of their education, occupation, age, income, gender or race/ethnicity. An example of a barrier to health equity could be an elder who is socially isolated and lacks transportation. A trip to the market or clinic may seem prohibitive.
One of the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation’s goals is to build a healthy and resilient community. RLACF, along with the commitment and talent of AmeriCorps VISTAs, and a diverse range of local partners are working toward health equity by addressing barriers and increasing opportunities for better health and livability. These initiatives include: Access to health services (carboncountyconnect.com), childhood/youth experiences and internships, housing, age-friendly communities, mental health, family income, nourishing food, and education.
Here’s to Rural Health! If you are interested in learning more about the Foundation’s programs addressing Social Determinants of Health please go online to www.rlacf.org, stop by 122 S Hauser Ave, or call 406-446-2820.