Child Well-Being Forum Focus Data – April 2016
April 26, 2016
April 26, 2016
February 10, 2016
A master planning effort for the arts in Greater Louisville has just been launched to connect and strengthen our arts and cultural assets and to integrate the arts into the community’s overall vision for the future.
Input from Greater Louisville residents, participants in the arts and other sectors, will be critical at this early stage of the planning process to result in a useful plan that benefits the entire community. Community and sector-specific workshops are being held February 23-24, 2016, and Greater Louisvillians are encouraged to attend! Workshops are free, and refreshments will be provided. Please use the online form to RSVP. You can learn more about the plan and the process at www.greaterlouisvillearts.com.
Updates will be made to this post as they become available.
February 7, 2016
June 19, 2015
By: Krista Drescher-Burke, Data and Research Officer, Greater Louisville Project
According to the USDA very low food security means “that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food.” Food insecure households are characterized by frequent worry that food will run out, inability to afford balanced meals, and insufficient food intake, which means skipping meals or going full days without eating.
In 2013, over 49 million Americans were part of food-insecure households. Overall, 14.3% of households in the US experienced food insecurity, and 19.5% of households with children experienced food insecurity, demonstrating that households with children disproportionally experience food insecurity. However, in about half of those homes, only the adults experienced food insecurity, implying that adults gave up food so the children could eat. Still, in 3.8 million American households, both children and adults experienced food insecurity in 2013.
Using data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, Louisville ranks 6th in food insecurity among our peers, with 17.2% of our total population experiencing food insecurity.
Louisville ranks 2nd in overall food insecurity among children, among our peers, suggesting we are doing well in keeping food insecurity low. Only St. Louis has lower food insecurity. However, more than 18% of our kids are food insecure.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of food insecurity. Good nutrition early in life is important for physical and mental health, academic success, and economic productivity. Food insecurity, on the other hand, poses a serious threat to development and success. Children’s Healthwatch reports that food-insecure children reach kindergarten lagging behind their peers in cognitive, emotional, and physical indicators, hindering a smooth transition and negatively affecting their early years at school, which in turn negatively affects future academic success. Food insecurity is also linked to worse health and lower levels of school engagement, both of which are related to lower academic achievement and lower rates of high school graduation. This equates to lower levels of college attendance, which ultimately results in lower human capital and a less competitive community. It is a difficult cycle to escape. Policies that address food insecurity have the potential to affect long-term community-level and national economic success, and reduce the demand for long-term health costs, as children enter school better prepared to learn and, ultimately, increase educational and occupational success.
While food insecurity is clearly common among impoverished households, it is not limited to people living below the poverty line. According to a 2014 joint report from Oxfam and Feeding America, more than half (54%) of food bank clients had at least one household member who had worked for pay in the previous 12 months, demonstrating the complex challenges faced by working Americans who struggle with low incomes, underemployment, and myriad expenses including medical care.
Among our peers, we rank 7th for full-time workers with incomes below the poverty line. Just to reiterate: There are many workers in Louisville, who work full-time, year round, and still live below the poverty line.
Of the clients who sought food assistance from a food bank, 86% of households with at least one employed member experienced food insecurity. That is, they were not merely seeking emergency food relief, but were formally considered food insecure. Since the 2008 recession, the United States has gained 2.3 million lower-wage jobs, while medium- and higher-wage jobs shrunk by 1.2 million. However, food insecurity has remained constant. These trends will likely continue as labor growth will continue to grow in low-wage occupations.
Currently, we are tied for 5th among our peers in percentage of jobs in the MSA paying at least a living wage. However, even though we have a decent rank among our peers, only 40% of jobs pay above a living wage. While this does not directly predict that food insecurity will increase or stay at the current level, it does mean that we would likely decrease food insecurity in our community with creation of more higher-paying jobs.
Food insecurity is not only a moral or compassion issue—we have many Louisvillians, including children, who simply do not have enough nutritious food to eat—it is also of concern as we strive to improve our position as a competitive city. Food insecurity negatively affects kindergarten readiness, which has implications for future academic achievement, which will mitigate our community’s efforts to increase the number of bachelors degrees and create high-wage 21st century jobs.
 USDA definitions of food security. Available from http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security.aspx
 USDA food security statistics. Available from (http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics.aspx
 Oxfam American and Feeding America. From paycheck to paycheck: Hunger in working America. Available from http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/hunger-in-working-america/from-paycheck-to-pantry.pdf
June 4, 2015
The Greater Louisville Project (GLP) is working on the development of a community-wide mapping of Louisville’s health landscape on factors aligned with Jefferson County’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings.
We are calling on the community to take the survey and help distribute it to others—email lists or list servs, website links, newsletters, Facebook page, twitter feeds, etc.
This short (5 minute) survey is designed to help us assess how health is being addressed in our city, and identify organizations who have programs and projects that align with the County Health Rankings focus areas.
Our goal is to reach as broad an array of entities as possible including: grass roots and advocacy organizations, local government, key businesses, community-based organizations, educational programs, institutions, health care providers, payors and more.
The County Health Rankings and focus areas cross a wide spectrum of subject areas from housing and transit to air quality to access to care. With your help we’d like the survey to reach entities involved in all of these different sectors.
Thank you in advance for helping us work collectively to advance the health of our community.
Responses are requested by June 22, 2015.
Who should respond?
The County Health Rankings and focus areas cross a wide spectrum of subject areas from housing and transit to air quality to access to care.
Our goal is to reach as broad an array of entities as possible including: grass roots and advocacy organizations, local government, key businesses, community-based organizations, educational programs, institutions, health care providers, payors and more.
To learn more, or view recently released 2014 data and view a new interactive data portal visit: www.greaterlouisvilleproject.org
This portal is designed to show the interconnections between our Deep Drivers of Education, Jobs, Health, and Quality of Place. The project’s new data offer a snapshot of key factors in local health, job creation and the city’s quality of place with the goal of convening broader conversations about ways to improve Louisville’s economic growth and quality of life.
For questions about the survey or more info about the project, email: email@example.com.
August 22, 2014
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the leading health philanthropic organization in the nation, endorses a culture of health. Earlier this summer, two representatives from the GLP attended the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health, hosted by RWJF. At the opening of the festival, we heard Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the President of RWJF, explain that “Building a culture of health is our North Star.” Consistent with the message of the GLP’s Special Report on Health, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey reminded us that a child’s zip code at birth is as important as his or her genetic code in predicting how long and how well he or she will live.
Throughout the conference, renowned experts emphasized the importance of social determinants of health, including race, education, and poverty. When we compare health outcomes between income groups, the differences are staggering – there are huge gaps in health between African-Americans and White Americans, even after controlling for age, income, education, and insurance status.
Many scholars asserted that investment in education would pay huge dividends in health gains in the future. As the GLP advances our work with Health, we will further explore how health and education—one of our Deep Drivers—are correlated. Work out of Virginia Commonwealth University is further highlighting the link between education and health. Essentially, as education increases, job opportunities increase, as does earnings potential. Higher income affords us healthier foods, access to safer and more walkable neighborhoods, more access to health care providers, etc.
Currently, many groups are working to improve the health of Louisville’s residents. This year, two reports were released: the Health Equity Report from the Center for Health Equity and Healthy Louisville 2020: Creating a Healthier City from Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness. In addition, Kentuckiana Health Collaborative is working on how to improve access and overall health among residents of Louisville.
Health is a factor in all three of the GLP’s Deep Drivers, Education, 21st Century Jobs, and Quality of Place. As we advance our work with health, we will further explore the relationship between our Deep Drivers and health.
August 12, 2014
Results of the recently released KIDS COUNT report show that Kentucky children are disproportionately living in poverty. For a family of four to be considered impoverished, total yearly household income is $23,850 or less. Nationally, about 23% of kids live below the poverty line, but in Kentucky about 27% do, up from 22% in 2005. In Louisville, about 26% of kids are poor.
Poverty status varies considerably by neighborhood. In Louisville’s St. Matthews neighborhood, for example, 14% of kids are poor. In Russell, at the other extreme, nearly 78% of kids live below the poverty line. In fact, in 13 (out of 24 total) Louisville neighborhoods, more than 25% of kids live below the poverty line.
Poverty is associated with numerous social ills, including low educational attainment, poor health, and food insecurity. Poverty causes stress in kids, making concentration in school difficult, and the dropout rate of poor kids is many times greater than the rate among more affluent kids. Kids who live in high-poverty neighborhoods also are more likely to witness and be victims of violence.
Contrary to common stereotypes, many poor people live in households where at least one member is employed. About 3% of full-time workers in Louisville live in a household whose total household income is below the poverty line. This amounts to more than 6200 full-time workers living in poverty in Louisville. This includes families where more than one person works, and total household income is still below the poverty line. This figure does not include poor part-time workers or full-time workers who make below-poverty wages, but live in a household with other earners, where total household income is above the poverty line. This number does not reflect the large number of full-time workers whose earnings would be below the poverty line if they were the only earner in the household.
The GLP’s focus on Education, 21st Century Jobs, Quality of Place, and Health are clearly related to poverty, as evidence demonstrates its association with educational attainment, employment and wages, and health. In the coming months, as we release data and provide more discussion on Quality of Place and Quality of Life, we will share more data regarding poverty and how Louisville compares to our peer cities.
July 29, 2014
The Greater Louisville Project is built on a foundation of three Deep Drivers: Education, 21st Century Jobs, and Quality of Place. We have reported widely on the first two, but Quality of Place has proven a more elusive concept.
In order to report a full picture of what life is like in Louisville, it is important we present how life is for all residents of Louisville. Thus, we are in the beginning stages of developing measures for what we mean by “Quality of Place.” The academic literature distinguishes between “Quality of Life” and “Quality of Place.”
While there is considerable overlap between the concepts, Quality of Place generally refers to the built and physical environment and is often used in the context of economic development (e.g., cultural events and housing availability, which might attract companies and highly trained workers to town).
Quality of Life, on the other hand, refers more often to the wellbeing of individuals and to what extent they are financially secure (e.g., poverty levels, housing affordability, food security). Naturally, our other Deep Drivers—21st Century Jobs and Education—have connection and influence in both Quality of Life and Quality of Place.
In reporting on the other Deep Drivers, we get a good snapshot of the economy of Louisville, but we do not get a full picture of how well our residents are faring within employment and educational opportunities. If we do not report on, for example, the percentage of children living in poverty or the percentage of our full-time workers who are making sub-poverty wages, we ignore much of the story. Thus, in the coming months, we will be presenting data and discussion on these areas and present a view of “Quality of Life” in Louisville.
June 9, 2014
Pressure comes in all forms – in life, work and in business. Communities and cities also experience pressure – from residents and citizens that want their community to be great.
For over a decade, the Greater Louisville Project has benchmarked Louisville’s performance and progress in 3 key areas – Education, 21st Century Jobs and Quality of Place – against peer cities. These ‘peers’ are cities that cluster around common indicators and embody similar socio-economic characteristics. Just as businesses compare performance against their competitors, the GLP measures our community’s progress and performance against peer cities, keeping us focused on a shared agenda for long-term progress.
As market shifts and other factors influence a company’s list of competitors, changes in data, economic performance and even MSA boundaries determine why some of Louisville’s peer cities remain on the list, some drop off, and others are introduced. For the last decade, Louisville’s peers have included Dayton, OH; Raleigh, VA; Jacksonville, FL; and Richmond, VA. These four have dropped from the cluster of peers due to numerous factors. For example, in looking at educational attainment metrics, Dayton has experienced a significant drop in their percentage of adults earning bachelor’s degrees, while Raleigh has moved well beyond our rate of producing adults with degrees. In both of these cities, workforce demographics have also greatly changed. Dayton has seen a loss of manufacturing jobs at a rate that appears to be higher than the rest of the nation, and though Raleigh has also experienced a decline in manufacturing jobs, the increase in higher-wage high-tech jobs has somewhat mitigated these losses.
Ten cities from the original list remain peers for the next decade: Birmingham, AL; Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; and Omaha, NE. These cities continue to cluster and share common attributes that allow us to effectively benchmark and compare in effort to measure key areas of performance. Louisville ranks in the middle of the pack of these cities, providing a balanced look at how we’re progressing.
Along with the 10 from the original list, additions to the 2014 list that will serve as our peers include Grand Rapids, MI; Greenville, SC; Knoxville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; St. Louis, MO; and Tulsa, OK. In looking at Louisville’s position among these new peers, we see that Louisville holds its spot among the middle of the pack in bachelor’s degree attainment. New peer city St. Louis joins our cluster with this decennial census as they experienced a significant increase in bachelor’s degrees, bringing them much closer to the rate in Louisville than in the past. Additionally, new peers Greenville, SC; Oklahoma City, OK; and Tulsa, OK have similar startup density to Louisville, putting them in cluster around economic indicators.
Building a city that provides opportunity for all, attracts the best talent, creates thriving neighborhoods, and produces strong companies are all factors in the game of economic development and the making of a great city. Competition among peers can be tough as companies and residents make choices on where to locate, grow and impact community.
Criteria and review of many data points provides a scoreboard for how we’re stacking up in areas of educational attainment, workforce, health outcomes, and more. How we perform against peers in addressing strategic challenges allows community leaders to set goals and transform them in to action that drives improvement, positions for long-term progress and helps all build a Greater Louisville.
January 21, 2014
Americans spend more on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet our health outcomes are considerably lower. We are simply not getting our money’s worth when it comes to health care spending. Experts have long known that these high costs are due to a number of factors, including the costs associated with preventable diseases and a perverse health care system that rewards doctors for keeping patients sick because of a fee-for-service reimbursement arrangement.
On January 14, The Clinton Foundation hosted the 2014 Health Matters Conference in effort to engage businesses, governments, NGOs and individuals in a dynamic discussion about health and wellness in the U.S. Panelists addressed a number of health care issues, including health transformation and cost, mental health and prescription drug abuse, using digital platforms to improve health behavior, closing the health divide, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Conference presenters suggested a number of ways to mitigate the burdens felt by so many Americans, who are spending such a high percentage of their incomes on health-related costs. They suggested emphasizing preventative care and incentivizing medical providers to keep patients well. They also stressed the importance of personal responsibility for health maintenance and ways that new technology can encourage individuals to choose healthy behaviors, which can reduce occurrences of chronic diseases, particularly those associated with obesity. One of the more troubling issues discussed during the Health Matters Conference is the disparate health between different demographic groups. A few examples discussed during the conference were as follows: 1 out of 3 Latinos in the United States are without health insurance; women are more likely to die of heart attack than a man, and they are more likely to receive inferior care to men; and Native Americans suffer Type II diabetes at a disproportionately high rate. Poor Americans have the worst health and the least access to health care.
In Louisville, as in the entire nation, we see enormous disparities in health outcomes. Panelists at the Health Matters Conference discuss how much ZIP code affects health, much more than medical care does. A recent report by the Louisville Metro Center for Health Equity reflects this as well. It was reported that residents in our poorest neighborhoods have a life expectancy of 67.3 – 70.5 years[i], while on the other hand, residents in our more affluent neighborhoods can expect to live up to 13 years longer. We know there are many social determinants of health, and ethnicity is one of many such determinants, along with education attainment, income, and more.
In order to build a Greater, Healthier Louisville, it is imperative that we understand the direct and indirect influence of health in seeing positive outcomes in jobs and education and experiencing a greater quality of place.
[i] Smith, P. et al. (2011). Louisville Metro Health Equity Report: The Social Determinants of Health in Louisville Metro. Available at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/29925903-E77F-46E5-8ACF-B801520B5BD2/0/HERFINALJAN23.pdf.
December 2, 2013
The Louisville community has over 100,000 uninsured residents. Kentucky Voices for Health is spearheading a statewide project called Get Covered Kentucky. Get Covered Kentucky works in communities to educate people on how and where they can enroll in health coverage. One of the biggest efforts to improve health in our community is going on right now—open enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Having health coverage is strongly related to better health outcomes for both children and adults. Our community’s first step to dramatically improve health outcomes is making sure that people have health coverage. According to a Mathematica Policy Research brief, the relationship between health coverage and better health outcomes is stronger when health care is affordable, and helps consumers use care appropriately.
Uninsured people with chronic conditions are less likely to get needed care or have regular checkups. Likewise, uninsured people without chronic or pre-existing conditions do not get routine care like insured people. As a result, uninsured people use emergency department visits as their primary care providers. This gives them no continuous coverage and no real health stability, two factors that perpetuate poor health outcomes.
Having health coverage opens doors to over 100,000 Louisville residents. Families will be able to find a local health provider that will help when someone is sick and will help prevent health problems before they happen. In Louisville, we’re working with the local Board of Health, Metro Health and Wellness, Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA), Family Health Centers, Metro Parks, Metro Community Services and Revitalization, and many other local community-based organizations to spread the word about how and where people can get enrolled in health coverage. We are encouraged by all of these groups working together with one purpose—to get Kentuckians covered.
Kentucky Voices for Health encourages everyone without health coverage to learn about health coverage options. Visit kynect, Kentucky’s Health Care Connection, and let’s get Louisville and Kentucky covered.
November 20, 2013
This is a great time to live in Louisville as hundreds of public, private and community-based non-profit groups share a vision to improve the conditions in which we all work, eat, sleep and play. From Mayor Fisher’s office and President Ramsey’s desk to local foundations and our large and small employers, there is an interest in making Louisville a better place. GE is undertaking data driven workplace safety and wellness projects. The Health Enterprise Network is generating ideas and supporting health related innovation. The Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, a Ford/UAW supported initiative is seeking to improve health systems in the region.
The University of Louisville health sciences students, faculty and students are active in the community – informing the public about proper eating and exercise, providing dental education and screenings to school children and vaccinating the community against influenza and other communicable diseases. UofL health science researchers are seeking to understand the complexities of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes in hopes of finding a cure. At the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS), we promote prevention of disease through initiatives like the Gray Street Farmers Market where vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade products in an area considered a ‘food desert.’ As an employer, UofL encourages staff and faculty to bike to work or use city transportation, and to take part in Get Healthy Now – an effort to promote healthy lifestyles through better choices. These are just a few of the ways UofL is seeking to create a healthier community.
SPHIS recently achieved a great milestone, approval by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to begin an undergraduate degree program in fall 2014. The two degree options, a bachelor of science in public health (BSPH) for students focused on public health practice and a bachelor of arts in public health (BAPH) for liberal arts studies will help meet the national shortage of trained public health professionals for positions in specific sectors of public health, health services and public policy, with career opportunities in policy change, community engagement, global health, maternal and child health, disease surveillance, non-profit management, health promotion, health care administration, health services research and environmental health.
As a public health educator, I have endeavored to improve conditions under which people can be healthy. The vast strides we have made in the developed world have come from cleaning up the environment (water quality, food security, minimize toxic exposures) and encouraging people to engage in healthier behaviors (eat appropriately, exercise, don’t smoke, minimize risk taking behaviors). We also know health status is linked to the zip code in which you live along with other factors (known as social determinants) including poverty, environmental influences and unemployment. The GLP Special Report on Health is a simple but timely compilation of relevant community data. It provides a foundation for collaboration and a prod to achieve better education and employment opportunities and quality of place that will define the health status of Louisville residents for the next decade. One of the greatest challenges is getting people to alter behavior. Health habits are deeply rooted in culture and it can be very difficult for people to understand the benefit of change. It will take great effort on the part of Louisville businesses, non-profit entities and government agencies to work together to solve the health disparity problem in our city.
Let’s document the appropriateness of the marketed label—the compassionate city—and not waste this opportunity.
Craig H. Blakely, PhD, MPH
Dean and Professor, UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences
Member, Greater Louisville Project Special Report Health Advisory Group
November 20, 2013
The Greater Louisville Project’s report on health affirms what we’ve known and been working to address through the efforts of our Center for Health Equity and the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement for some time now. Improving health is everyone’s work! There is more to health than health care. When we improve social factors such as education, income, nutrition, housing, and neighborhoods we improve health overall.
Some of our ongoing efforts to build Louisville’s capacity for health include:
We’re doing some great work in our quest to become one of the healthiest cities in the country. We know we have much more to do. I invite you to join us. Get involved in the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement Community Coalition by contacting Leanne French at 574-6222. Learn more at www.louisvilleky.gov/healthythometown. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhometown1 and Twitter @LouMetroHealth.
November 20, 2013
For more than a decade, the Greater Louisville Project has provided research and data analysis to catalyze civic action, particularly around three Deep Drivers of Change: Education, 21st Century Jobs, and Quality of Place. In our recently released Special Report on Health, it was no surprise to learn of the direct correlation and connection to Health and the three Deep Drivers.
When looking at Louisville’s Health Outcomes ranking – a combination of length of life and quality of life lived- placement of 10th among 15 cities means we have a lot of work to do to fully enjoy the positive results of health’s impact on education, jobs/income and our quality of place.
So many times, we talk about individual choice and healthcare mandates . . . but it is important to look closely at the programs, infrastructure, policies and behaviors in support of a healthier Louisville. We must remember that Health happens where we live, work and learn as we make decisions in our schools, businesses, and neighborhoods that influence change and direct better outcomes.
We recognize the work being done currently to build a healthier Louisville. Over the next several weeks, we will invite local leaders and passionate advocates to share their feedback to the GLP health report. We will continue the conversation and work to catalyze action to increase the momentum around Louisville’s agenda to become an even healthier city. We invite you to share your ideas for driving the greatest improvement in the health of our community.