Takeaways From WFPL’s News Special on Health in Louisville

A Greater Louisville Project report highlights the challenges the community faces to become healthier.

The report looked closely at life expectancy and morbidity when calculating their results. It provided a neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of health in Louisville. As it turns out, left expectancy varied by as much 13 years depending on where you lived. In Portland, for example, the average life expectancy is 70; in St. Matthews it's 83.

When judged against peer cities, Louisville ranked 10th out of 15 in terms of overall health. 

So where do we go from here? That question was posed to three health specialists who joined us for a live panel discussion at WFPL:

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the Louisville Department of Health and Wellness;

Dr. Sandra E. Brooks, system vice president research and prevention, Norton Healthcare

Dr. Diana Han, chief medical officer/global medical director, GE Home & Business Solutions.

Here are five takeways and questions from today's discussion:

  • The issues are diverse and interconnected. Medicine and healthcare in general have been stuck in various silos, and tacking health in Kentucky means attacking from all angles: education, economics, hospital practices and more.
  • The federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is a potential first step, but not the ultimate solution. Just providing more people with health insurance doesn't necessarily mean we will create a healthier state. Health insurance needs to be augmented by access to care and other factors. In other words, signing up is the first step, but not the final answer.
  • The problem is complex by nature, but often looking for simpler solutions is the best approach.
  • Louisville has one of the highest rates of fast food chains per capita. To what extent will these businesses play a role in the future of health for Louisvillians?
  • It's one thing to educate a young child about healthy food and living choices—but how can we bring this education to adults, too?

To here the full conversation, listen below:

(Image via Shutterstock)

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