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Community Benefit and the Determinants of Health 

Community Benefit and the Determinants of Health
Community Benefit and the Determinants of Health

Kathy Gerwig

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date: 24 May 2020

Leading causes of death including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease are the result of controllable factors including tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. Personal behaviors account for 40 percent of premature deaths, followed by family history and genetics (30 percent), environmental and social factors (20 percent), with medical care accounting for only 10 percent. Hospitals are being challenged to address environmental contributors to disease. They are engaging in environmental activities that strengthen a communities’ ability to meet identified community health needs. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax policy and the Affordable Care Act of 2010 underscore the logic of environmental health interventions in improving public health and reducing the price tag of health care. Hospitals and health care organizations are partnering to improve environmental health and community health.

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