How does health impact our economy?
Despite the many connections between our communities and our health, local communities traditionally have not based planning or policy decisions on the potential impacts to public health. Yet, many lifestyles and other health-related factors are impacted by policy, and local decisions and policies have immediate consequences on health outcomes.
Healthy employees mean lower costs for employers due to less absenteeism, lower health insurance rates, and more. Healthy children learn and perform better in school, making for a better-educated workforce later on. Health families are more engaged in their communities, volunteering, serving, and creating an environment where businesses want to be.
Other concerns associated with health care access for but seniors and those in poverty include the cost of care, and difficulting in accessing affordable care. Many of the region's health professional shortage areas are designated low-income communities with high residents-per-physician ratios which can result in longer wait times for residents to access health care services.