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Addressing the Healthcare Crisis in Philadelphia’s Poorest Neighborhoods
As the “poorest big city in America” Philadelphia has its challenges—particularly for healthcare. Poverty in the city, including healthcare burdens, costs us jobs, new business development, tourism, and other economic growth opportunities. Additionally, a strained healthcare system will not deliver the highest quality care, and the effects of this are seen in the health statistics for Philadelphia citizens, including a sad capstone that in fifteen zip codes in North Philadelphia, life expectancy of children is 20 years shorter compared to their counterparts in wealthier zip codes.
But with tremendous challenges come tremendous opportunities for greatness. Philadelphia has the opportunity and the wherewithal to become a national leader in developing models of care that overcome the obstacles in caring for challenged populations. Now is a unique time when the convergence of healthcare payment reform, advances in digital health, and the will of the country serve as a springboard we can use to better the lives of our citizenry, and to advance on the national stage in both healthcare and technology. Specifically, a partnership among the major stakeholders in this region can catalyze progress and magnify the impact of healthcare delivery not only in Philadelphia, but ultimately in all urban centers that follow our lead. The Digital Health Initiative of Philadelphia (DHIP) is galvanizing our business, political, technical, and social communities in this charge toward greatness.
A Digital Health Initiative of Philadelphia White Paper is also available.