Does Your Organization’s Zip Code Affect Your Community Impact?

Recent reports have pointed to the fact that Americans are living longer. While this sounds promising, in reality, the future is only brighter for those living in certain zip codes.

In fact, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini explained in a recent interview that a person’s zip code is even more significant than his or her genetic code when it comes to predicting life expectancy. And as Fortune Magazine goes on to report, 74% of the variation is explained by behavioral and metabolic risk factors alone.

If where we live is such a determining factor to our health, organizations like yours need to understand the health-related dynamics at play in communities across the country. This is where data management is paramount. Tracking your organization’s impact in your community goes well beyond revenue streams and cost-saving metrics – It could literally add years to people’s lives.

Consider how you can connect your work (i.e. metrics) to the following, positive community outcomes:

Exercise Is Medicine (EIM): EIM is on the rise now as health care providers are more often prescribing exercise as part of treatment plans. And, according to the CDC, overweight patients are 5x more likely to participate in their fitness plans if it’s actually prescribed by their doctor.

  • Cloud Connection: Tracking patient progress and outcomes is critical to the healthcare industry. This is a win-win-win. Data collected through cloud technology will:1) keep members engaged
    2) provide your organization with relevant client outcomes
    3) collect much-needed data and influence preventative medicine and treatments.

Increased Senior Wellness: A report last year by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research group, found that the majority of parks are geared toward young people, providing very little use for older adults. While a walking loop was referenced as generating the most physical engagement for older visitors, there was little else.

  • Cloud Connection: Easily evaluate demographic information (and gaps) for those using your facility or park. The data you collect could help engage an underrepresented population within your community.

Happy Kids: Perhaps the zip code correlation is most telling when it comes to kids. We all know that where a child lives and grows – whether positive or negative – completely impacts their life. Simply put, youth who are surrounded by a variety of opportunities for positive experiences engage in less risky behavior and transition more successfully into adulthood.

  • Cloud Connection: You know you’re making a difference in kids’ lives, but what you may not be considering is how that improves the overall quality (and longevity) of life in your community. Quantitative data, paired with anecdotal stories can tell the story of what a difference you make.

What it comes down to is this: Where you live matters. And having robust facilities, parks and programs to create community wellness can improve the quality AND LENGTH of people’s lives.

Directly linking your work- through data – to positive community outcomes will bolster your relevance and credibility as an organization and improve your fundraising power. Knowing exactly how you are contributing to community health will only help you reach greater community goals.

Let data get you there. (We can help with that.)

Gina Calvert

Gina is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, YMCAs, Parks & Recs, camps, schools and endurance events, for almost 7 years.

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