Podcast: Social Environment Shapes Health

In a recent podcast from Partnership for Prevention, Dr. David Williams, Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, discusses the work of the Commission to Build a Healthier America. Williams discusses what makes Americans healthy and what we can do to improve public health in the United States. He identifies two take home messages from the Commission that are relevant to our work with HEAT. First, all Americans could be healthier than they are. This is important because it reminds us that health equity matters for everyone, not just people in disadvantaged groups. Second, as Williams puts it, “Good health is not created in doctors’ offices and hospitals.” Williams describes our health care system as a repair shop; we need to focus on what causes people to get sick in the first place. It follows that we need to broaden the current debate about health care reform to include a focus on how the social environment shapes health and drives up health care costs.

Tune in to Prevention Matters for the full podcast.

About author:

Lance Gravlee is Co-Chair of HEAT and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

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