Healthy Communities – December 14, 2012


This year’s White House gingerbread house is complete with a winter garden, with tiny marzipan cool-season vegetables–kale, collard, mustard greens, cabbage, mache, parsnips, spinach, radish, onion, endive, lemongrass–in raised beds of chocolate dirt.

Freshmen Facebook

See the “Congress of Firsts” infographic from ThinkProgress. With the most diverse group of incoming lawmakers in history, Capitol Hill is becoming more representative of America. The 113th Congress will have more Latino, women, Asian American, and openly gay and bisexual members. It will be younger. It will include our first Hindu representative and our first Buddhist senator. In no small part because of this greater diversity, Congress will have more voices promoting equity as an economic imperative.


The Rural Assistance Center has released their Rural Obesity Prevention Toolkit, which is designed to help evaluate opportunities for developing an obesity prevention program and provide resources and best practices developed by successful obesity prevention programs.

View information on Governor Kitzhaber’s balanced budget

Reports and Articles

A new book, Investing in What Works for America’s Communities, features a chapter by RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, and experts from a wide range of fields. Lavizzo-Mourey’s chapter, “Why Health, Poverty and Community Development are Inseparable,” describes several foundation projects focused on strengthening communities.

Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January–June 2012 National Health Interview Survey
CDC, 12/13/12
This release provides and updates preliminary estimates for 15 selected health measures based on new data from the January–June 2012 NHIS, with comparisons to estimates from the NHIS back to 1997. The 15 measures included are lack of health insurance coverage and type of coverage, usual place to go for medical care, obtaining needed medical care, receipt of an influenza vaccination, receipt of a pneumococcal vaccination, obesity, leisure-time physical activity, current smoking, alcohol consumption, HIV testing, general health status, personal care needs, serious psychological distress, diagnosed diabetes, and asthma episodes and current asthma.

Code Red and Blue — Safely Limiting Health Care’s GDP Footprint
The New England Journal of Medicine, 12/12/12
Public and private policymakers from red and blue states are converging on three conclusions that portend a momentous choice for physicians accustomed to benefiting from health care’s growing share of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Race – and Place – Matters for Health, 12/11/12
A child is born in the United States. How much information do you need to predict her future health? To predict if she will enjoy a healthy life? If she will die an early death? Racial residential segregation impacts socioeconomic status, which impacts what social systems a person enters or exits (such as the school system, the labor market, and the criminal justice system).

A holiday-themed article about arthritis: Santa Claus Goes Public About His Gout
Care2, 12/11/12
Dr. Keenan told Santa, “You’ve got the classic symptoms of gout, a type of arthritis caused by the breakdown of purine from certain foods.”


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