SLPD article on STL city-county divide, by Tony Messenger

Tony Messenger’s April 13, 2017 article, Messenger: Redraw the boundaries so that St. Louis can go all in, addresses the divide between the city and county in St. Louis. Messenger references research outlined in the 2014 For the Sake of All report underscoring the gaps in health outcomes and life expectancy between rich and poor and African American and white St. Louisans. According to For the Sake of All Project Director Dr. Jason Purnell, “This is the story of St. Louis. The in group has divided the resources and, more often than not, left little for the out group. That’s our history, on purpose.”

The article discusses the results from the recent April 4 elections in the context of the city-county divide and highlights an event held on the same day in which Dr. Purnell and other panelists encouraged the city and county to come together. Messenger also proposes an approach where the city, county, and state would work together (as they plan to in the NFL lawsuit) or where policy agencies would consolidate to establish agency-wide standards and improve public safety.

According to Messenger, “that sort of thinking would require what Purnell says is necessary for St. Louis to thrive in a new global economy, a ‘redrawing of the boundary of the in group.’

Messenger’s message: “Redraw the boundaries so that the entire region can go all in.”

Read the full article.

Asset Funders Network releases new brief on wealth and health

On February 28, 2017, the Asset Funders Network released a new brief on the relationship between wealth and health, The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course, with authors Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, MPH and Anjum Hajat, PhD, MPH. This release demonstrates that funders have an opportunity to bridge interests and cross silos to make stronger connections between wealth building, economic security, and prevention and health outcomes.

People’s relationship with money impacts their health. Far beyond health care access and affordability, wealth and numerous social factors related to where people live, work, and play impacts a person’s health. Data indicates assets, income, and health are inexorably linked. On the one hand, good health is associated with higher wealth and income, better employment and education. On the other hand, we know that adults with more financial resources have better health and live longer lives. Throughout one’s course of life, the challenges of health and wealth are connected — but why aren’t the solutions?

A webinar conducted by the authors is now available. Presenters Purnell and Hajat explore how health and wealth are connected and discuss how health impacts are more significant for low-income, vulnerable populations, particularly people of color. They go on to share compelling evidence for investment in strategies and policies that consider both the physical well-being and economic stability of individuals, families, and communities.

Download the brief.
View the webinar.