A Boston Globe editorial cites research from numerous Boston Foundation partners in an editorial praising investments by three of Boston's major hospitals in affordable housing as a means of improving health outcomes.Read more
Our vision for the Health and Wellness impact area is to promote and advance health equity conditions in which everyone- across all forms of identity- has the opportunity to attain their best health. We do this by:
The Health and Wellness impact area consists of three major investment strategies that are: Obesity prevention, Social Determinants of Health and Stress and health.
Our goal for the obesity prevention strategy is to facilitate shifts in institutional practices to support engagement in healthy behaviors associated with obesity prevention.
Our goal for this strategy is to enhance clinical-community linkages and cross-sector partnerships to eliminate barriers that disrupt equitable access across the Social Determinants of Health.
Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are commonly referred to as the conditions and societal circumstances in which people are born, live, work and age. Research has identified a wide range of social factors that are associated with differences in health outcomes. They include political, socioeconomic and cultural constructs, as well as place-based conditions such as accessible healthcare and education systems, safe environmental conditions, neighborhood design (e.g. sidewalks) and availability of healthy food.
This investment is considered to be cross-cutting and will help to inform ways to strengthen our work. Health Starts at Home is a key initiative that supports the SDOH Strategy that brings together housing and healthcare organizations to support work that demonstrates the positive benefits of stable, affordable housing on children’s health outcomes.
This initiative builds off of the strong relationships the Boston Foundation possesses with anchor institutions, such as healthcare, in addition to Greater Boston’s community-based organizations to foster clinical-community linkages and influence a level of systems change that is powered by community voice.
Our goal for the Stress and Health strategy is facilitate institutional shifts and strengthen infrastructure to address stress as a major determinant of health.
Stress can impact all of us and stressors can have a major influence on our sense of well-being and overall health. If the stressor is unremitting, particularly among those already experiencing repeated exposure to chronic stress, the long-term and cumulative effects of stress can lead to poor health.
The impact of stress can be chronic for people in poverty. Furthermore, for children in poverty, the chronic stress of poverty can carry into adulthood. In the United States, nearly 50% of children experience one or more adverse childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences can impose chronic stress and result in effects on lifelong physical and mental health, learning/behavior problems and chronic disease such as obesity and heart disease. Lastly, there is a number of studies that demonstrate the impact of stress is further exacerbated among people of color, due to experiences of discrimination.