LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) ― A new interactive map unveiled today by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) highlights social determinants of health in the Little Rock School District. The map is part of a project recognizing that in addition to health care and healthy habits, there are environmental factors that affect health and other important outcomes.
The map, published today on ACHI’s website, is the first installment in a project titled, “ZIP Code Risk: Impacts of Social Determinants of Health on Schools, Communities, and Families.” Using data compiled by City Health Dashboard, the map illustrates the relative prevalence of three measures in census tracts within the district: children in poverty, adults with frequent mental distress, and adults with frequent physical distress.
Overlaid on the map are the boundaries of the district’s elementary schools and letter grades from A to F that the Arkansas Department of Education has assigned to the schools.
“Social determinants of health are conditions in places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect their health,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “These conditions also affect many other factors, including educational success. Our project ― which we plan to expand beyond Little Rock ― is intended to provide resources for stakeholders as they work to address issues in school districts that may be related to social determinants of health.”
The phrase “ZIP code risk” in the project’s title refers to the fact that health risks may vary from one location to another ― even from neighborhood to neighborhood.
“Our collective goal should be that what ZIP code you live in doesn’t determine your health or educational potential,” Thompson said.
ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development.