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Measuring Mental Health with the Behavioral Health Index (BHI)

In 2019, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services funded the Center on Society and Health to produce an index that estimates the need for behavioral health services in local populations served by the state’s 40 Community Service Board (CSB) districts. 

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Highlighting the Work of Richmond’s Community Health Workers and Advocates [View Image]

Highlighting the Work of Richmond’s Community Health Workers and Advocates

The health of our community plays a key role in our personal well-being, which is why the work that community health workers and advocates do is so impactful. With funding from the Wright Center, the Center on Society and Health and Initiatives of Change created an interactive story featuring Richmond’s community health workers and advocates. Read More

Center Study Examines Excess Deaths from COVID and Other Causes [View Image]

Center Study Examines Excess Deaths from COVID and Other Causes

The number of deaths from COVID-19 reported in the news during since March may be underestimating the pandemic’s actual death toll. From March 1st to August 1st, 2020, the United States saw 225,530 excess deaths, but only 67% of the excess deaths were attributed to COVID-19. The other one-third were linked to other causes such as heart disease, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.Read More

Health Equity: How Opportunities for Health are Shaped by Race and Ethnicity [View Image]

Health Equity: How Opportunities for Health are Shaped by Race and Ethnicity

A report based on a previous center study, “Uneven Opportunities: How Conditions for Wellness Vary Across the Metropolitan Washington Region”, that examined the health of the community at the census tract level, focusing on life expectancy and the factors that shape health.Read More

Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative [View Image]

Health Opportunity and Equity (HOPE) Initiative

A project, led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity, to develop a resource to chart progress towards health equity at the national, state, and local level. As part of this project, the Center is providing data and research support for the Texas Health Institute.Read More

Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017

A study examining trends in life expectancy and mortality rates among all 50 states, from 1959 through 2017. Study results were published in a special communication by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), November 26, 2019, and found increases in mortality rates for 35 different causes and continued declines in life expectancy. Read More

Measuring Healthy Places: The Metropolitan Washington Healthy Places Index [View Image]

Measuring Healthy Places: The Metropolitan Washington Healthy Places Index

A project, funded by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Region Forward initiative, to develop a Health Places Index, issue brief, technical report, and several maps for the Metropolitan Washington region. Read More

Mortality Studies [View Image]

Mortality Studies

An analysis of mortality trends in California, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Virginia, with a special focus on specific causes driving increases in mortality, the characteristics of places in which mortality is increasing, and stress-related conditions, such as deaths from suicide, drug overdoses, and cardiovascular disease.Read More

Life Expectancy in Northern Virginia [View Image]

Life Expectancy in Northern Virginia

The health of residents in Northern Virginia is among the best in the United States, but it is not uniform. Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and the cities they surround were the focus of these reports and interactive maps examining differences in life expectancy and other sociodemographic factors in the region.Read More

Community-Engaged Approach to Reducing Pediatric Asthma Disparities in Richmond [View Image]

Community-Engaged Approach to Reducing Pediatric Asthma Disparities in Richmond

A community-engaged approach to reducing pediatric asthma disparities in Richmond, focusing on conducting a needs assessment to develop a multi-level, culturally tailored asthma intervention. Read More

General Electric Project [View Image]

General Electric

Work with General Electric involving an expert advisory panel to provide guidance on priority areas where the business community can achieve meaningful impact on community health and wellbeing.Read More

Community Vital Signs [View Image]

Community Vital Signs

A proof-of-concept pilot at 12 primary care practices in Fairfax, VA to integrate clinical and population-level data so that family physicians may identify patients who reside in disadvantaged communities and document how this knowledge influences their care of these patients. Read More

Volunteerism in the East End [View Image]

Volunteerism in the East End

A study aiming to contribute to knowledge about the processes and impact of volunteering by examining the characteristics of neighborhood‐based and regional volunteers and organizations in Richmond, Virginia’s East End neighborhood.Read More

Community Conversations [View Image]

Community Conversations

An effort to collect community-level data through multiple “community conversations” in the city of Richmond, VA in order to better understand civic engagement and volunteering at the local level.Read More

The Health of the States [View Image]

The Health of the States

A collaboration with the Urban Institute, the project is a detailed analysis comparing states on dozens of health measures and examining connections between 39 health outcomes and 123 drivers of health across five domains: health systems, health behaviors, socioeconomic conditions, the environment, and public policies and spending. Findings were published in a series of reports.Read More

Mapping Life Expectancy [View Image]

Mapping Life Expectancy

Media-friendly maps depicting dramatic differences in life expectancy across small distances in U.S. cities and rural areas. Building on an earlier set of five maps released for the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America, the Center produced maps for 21 additional cities and rural areas across the country, including New York City; Richmond, VA; Chicago; Philadelphia; Tulsa, OK; and Detroit. Maps were released throughout 2015 and 2016.Read More

Richmond Health Equity Report [View Image]

Richmond Health Equity Report

A report examining social determinants of health in metropolitan Richmond, utilizing data from a variety of sources, and including findings from research conducted by Engaging Richmond. The report was released in April, 2016.Read More

Strengthening Early Childhood Programming in Richmond [View Image]

Strengthening Early Childhood Programming in Richmond

A project, led by the City of Richmond, Office of Community Wealth Building, to support continued work toward a stronger system of early childhood development and education in Richmond. The VCU Center on Society and Health, in partnership with Engaging Richmond, will provide community-engaged research support to guide policymakers in decisions affecting Richmond's overall system of early childhood development.Read More

San Diego Big Data Demonstration Project [View Image]

San Diego Big Data Demonstration Project

An initiative to test how the application of computational modeling to large data sets (“big data”) can support public health and social policy in San Diego, California and explore whether decisions made by the community can benefit from advanced methods in the display, analysis, and modeling of local data spanning health care, public health, social service, the environment, and other domains.Read More

Income and Health Initiative [View Image]

Income and Health Initiative

A series of issue briefs and an interactive online visual tool on the relationship between income, wealth, and health designed to unpack this complex relationship and offer evidence-based policy recommendations. A collaboration with the Urban Institute.Read More

The SEED Method for Stakeholder Engagement [View Image]

The SEED Method for Stakeholder Engagement

Testing of a framework for conceptualizing and prioritizing health-related research questions through collaborative, participatory, and consultative stakeholder engagement.Read More

Informed Neighbors Corps [View Image]

Informed Neighbors Corps

A group of community leaders and residents at a local public housing development working to promote a transparent and resident-centered redevelopment of public housing in the Church Hill North area of Richmond, Virginia.Read More

Bringing Best Practices to Housing Redevelopment [View Image]

Bringing Best Practices to Housing Redevelopment

Planning proactively to enhance the health outcomes of housing redevelopment in Richmond, Virginia, and implementing strategies to improve the health of residents.Read More

Educational and Health Outcomes: Neighborhood and Individual Mediators [View Image]

Educational and Health Outcomes: Neighborhood and Individual Mediators

A secondary data analysis, testing the relationship between education and child health outcomes. Includes a multivariate analysis based on a literature-based conceptual model, and adapted models incorporating predictors suggested by the Engaging Richmond team.Read More

Northside Parental Engagement Study [View Image]

Northside Parental Engagement Study

Qualitative study to identify priorities for middle school students during out-of-school time and make recommendations for continued parental engagement in the study school and Richmond Public Schools.Read More

The Cost of Firearms Violence [View Image]

The Cost of Firearms Violence

Community-engaged research exploring the social and psychological consequences of firearms violence across community and family networks.Read More

The Connecting the Dots Initiative [View Image]

The Connecting the Dots Initiative

A research and outreach effort to raise awareness among leaders in government and the private sector about the important connections between health and social factors such as education, income, neighborhood, and community. Read More

Health Impact Assessment: Implications of Reduced Food Stamp Eligibility [View Image]

Health Impact Assessment: Implications of Reduced Food Stamp Eligibility

A rapid-cycle assessment prepared for Congress as it deliberated reauthorization of the 2013 Farm Bill and the health consequences of weakening the SNAP program. The report provided estimates of potential effects of legislative proposal on mortality and the cost of diabetes care in the United States as a result of the proposed legislation.Read More

educationhealth [View Image]

Education and Health Initiative

A research and outreach effort to raise awareness about the association between education and health among policymakers and stakeholders in national, state, and local settings. Related resources include issue briefs, videos, and online data about the health and economic implications of educational attainment.Read More

The California Poverty Study [View Image]

The California Poverty Study

A mixed-methods study to understand “outlier” census tracts in California, communities with higher life expectancy than would be predicted based on their poverty rate and other social conditions (e.g., poverty) present in the area, and explain those factors which may contribute to the unexpectedly positive outcomes. The goal is to identify community assets that enhance population health.Read More

Health Impact Assessment: Poultry Litter-to-Energy Facility in the Shenandoah Va [View Image]

Health Impact Assessment: Poultry Litter-to-Energy Facility in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

A comprehensive assessment of the direct and indirect health consequences of placing an energy facility in a rural agricultural community poultry litter management that are of most important to health, including recommendations to maximize health outcomes.Read More

Richmond Community Needs Assessment [View Image]

Richmond Community Needs Assessment

An assessment of community priorities in the East End of Richmond, Virginia, conducted by the Engaging Richmond team and Richmond Promise Neighborhood using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods.Read More

Engaging Richmond [View Image]

Engaging Richmond

A community-academic partnership based in Richmond's East End, employing mixed methods research to explore the social and environmental factors that influence health. Read More

County Health Calculator [View Image]

County Health Calculator

An online simulation tool released in 2011 to explore how health is associated with education and income, and other social determinants of health. By manipulating a slider bar, the user can examine how mortality and the rates and costs of diabetes would be affected if more favorable socioeconomic conditions existed.Read More

Place Matters [View Image]

Place Matters

A series of reports examining the relationship between place and health in eight communities across the United States. Completed in 2011, the reports examined how health is influenced by demographic, social, and economic conditions of importance to each community.Read More

Project on Societal Distress [View Image]

Project on Societal Distress

The Center's flagship project, completed in 2011. An initiative that documented the prevalence of societal distress in the United States across five domains: food security, housing, health, education, and income. Data on the United States and three states—Michigan, Mississippi, and New Mexico—are provided.Read More

Education and Health Calculator [View Image]

Education and Health Calculator

An interactive online tool to estimate how many deaths would be averted if states or counties had higher education rates. Funded in 2007 as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America.Read More

California Healthy Places Index [View Image]

California Healthy Places Index

An index that utilizes several social determinants of health to predict life expectancy by census tract in CaliforniaRead More

Calculating the Costs of Drug Addiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia [View Image]

Calculating the Costs of Drug Addiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia

A project to better understand the impact of the opioid epidemic, funded by The Virginia Department of Health Division of Prevention and Health Promotion, by assessing the economic repercussions of opioid-related deaths. Read More

Regional Scan and Strategies for Community Engagement [View Image]

Regional Scan and Strategies for Community Engagement in Health, Housing, and Community Development

A scan of community engagement efforts and strategies in the City of Richmond and Counties of Chesterfield and Henrico, with recommendations for future engagement endeavors Read More

Healthy Communities for Youth [View Image]

Healthy Communities for Youth

Healthy Communities for Youth is a community-based intervention that focuses on youth violence prevention and education with at-risk neighborhoods within Richmond. Read More

For the Sake of All [View Image]

For the Sake of All: Advancing Systemic Changes to Promote Healthy School Environments

Research, development, and dissemination of a toolkit that facilitates inclusive, healthy school environmentsRead More

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