We believe that a different kind of healthcare system is possible.
A Different Kind of Healthcare
Health Leads believes that a different kind of healthcare system is possible for America – one that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. We believe that one day, all healthcare providers will be able to prescribe solutions that improve health, not just manage disease.
We seek to align the forces necessary for this change, using Health Leads’ work in our partner hospitals and health centers to make a broader case for integrating basic resources into healthcare delivery. At the same time, America is poised for a healthcare transformation due to market-driven imperatives focused on improving patient health and reducing costs.
A Healthcare System in Crisis
Every day in America, doctors prescribe medication to patients who have no food at home or live in unsafe housing. Medicine alone won’t solve these problems, and many of the patients will return with more serious – and more expensive – illnesses.
Doctors and other healthcare providers know that basic resources needs directly impact the health of their patients. But they typically don’t have the time or resources to address them. If they do, they are sidelined from delivering the clinical care they were trained to provide.
At the same time, the looming shortage of primary care providers and a rise in poverty will further strain the American healthcare system.
Health Leads offers a solution.
The Impact of Poverty on Health
The medical literature offers substantial evidence demonstrating that poverty negatively impacts health outcomes:
- Children who experience “food insecurity” – uncertain or limited supplies of nutritious food – are 30% more likely to be hospitalized by age three.
- Children in poverty are 5 times more likely to have higher lead-blood levels, which can lead to neurological damage, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and other health problems.
- Children less than 3 years old whose families need but do not receive help paying their gas or electric bills are 30% more likely to be hospitalized.
- Poor housing conditions, including overcrowding, have been shown to have a direct relationship to poor mental health, developmental delay, heart disease and other medical issues.