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This report was produced by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII), a collaboration of senior officials, managers and staff from eight health departments in the Bay Area.The vision for Healthy People 2010, the official document that defines the nation’s goals for health, is healthy people in healthy communities.
But, the odds of being healthy can depend very much on which community you live in.
While there has been a lot of debate about health care reform in California during the past year, there was very little discussion as to how much impact increased access to medical services will actually have on the health of our communities. As important as it is, most experts agree that health care contributes only about 10-15% to health outcomes and life span. Where you live is probably a bigger determinant of your health than whether you have health insurance. People who live in West Oakland, for example, can expect to live on average 10 years less than those who live in the Berkeley Hills. Similarly, people who live in Bayview/Hunters Point can expect to live on average 14 years less than their counterparts on Russian Hill, while residents of Bay Point can expect to live on average 11 years less than people in Orinda.
Health Equity and Social Justice Toolkit