published on August 15, 2017 - 1:12 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A new study has emerged highlighting challenges and opportunities in community health in south Fresno.

Conducted by the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State and commissioned by Fresno Building Healthy Communities, the “Community Benefit Needs Assessment in South Fresno” report shows that local residents are looking to nonprofit hospitals to shift their community benefit investment activities in order to promote a culture of prevention and responsive care to address barriers to living a healthy, safe and productive life.

“Local nonprofit hospitals have an obligation to improve the health of the community that goes beyond direct care,” said Sandra Celedon, executive director of Fresno Building Healthy Communities. “People know what they need to be healthy, but they face an overwhelming amount of barriers, like where they live, that affect their ability to lead healthy lives.”

In the report, residents expressed that a lack of access to health care in their neighborhoods, the availability of healthy and affordable food and the number of places to be physically active are tremendous obstacles.

In response to overcoming these issues, residents identified strategies that nonprofit hospitals can use to improve the overall health of neighborhoods. One such recommendation was the desire for culturally and linguistically responsive wellness promotion activities in places where groups already meet, such as community centers and schools.

“Recommendations for neighborhood investments included cultural exercise opportunities, healthy eating and nutrition classes and diabetes management workshops,” said Dr. Tania Pacheco-Warner, a research scientist at the institute and the lead author of the study.

A community forum regarding this report will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School, 1100 E. Church Ave., in Fresno. The event is free and open to the public.

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