EP 333 Your Zip Code Has a Lot To Do with Your Health

Alumni US | Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA

Many of us think that our genes and our lifestyle, or just plain luck, determine our health outcomes. As a society, we’re beginning to understand another key factor is the growing impact of the social determinants of health–the walk ability of our neighborhood, access to medical facilities and transportation, living in areas that aren’t environmentally compromised and having access to fresh foods. Never has this become clearer than in recent weeks as we have seen more African-American citizens succumb to the deadly coronavirus. While policymakers say they want to study and address this issue, this podcast offers important information on these social determinants of your well being. While some of us take access to health care, quality foods and environmentally unspoiled conditions for granted, for a large swath of the population, these critical concerns are real and a daily obstacle to good health. Scott McPhee, DrPH(Doctor of Public Health) and Bay Path University’s program coordinator in the Master of Public Health program, walks us through the role that public health has played in addressing issues from HIV to cancer to opioid abuse. And while Americans like to think we can control our own health destiny, he brings perspective to the differences between our personal clinical health and the effects that public health issues have on how those services are distributed and available to all. So, as much as you are ‘what you eat’, in many cases you also are ‘where you live’.