The far-reaching impact of community health
Community health flips the script on the old adage, “You take care of you; I’ll take care of me.” Instead, public health experts agree that the health of a community can have far-reaching—and sometimes surprising—impacts on individual health and beyond.
“Community health impacts everything—educational achievement, safety and crime, people’s ability to work and be financially healthy, life expectancy, happiness and more,” Bognanno says. “Health impacts every other facet of life, from a child’s ability to learn to an adult’s ability to work, so health is critical for education and financial well-being.”
The effect of health on quality of life can also impact the desire to participate in civic duties like voting, social functions and leisure activities, according to Healthy People 2020, an initiative of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.2
Communities that are attentive to public health can even reduce inequality among their residents. “[Community health] also helps to reduce health gaps caused by differences in race and ethnicity, location, social status, income and other factors that can affect health,” reports the CDC.