Atlanta Mission Partners with Aetna to Help Build Healthier Communities

Did you know that your zip code has more of an impact on your health than your genetic code? It’s true. The conditions in which we’re born, live, and work along with our age shape our health more than the genes inside of us. These factors, which are called Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), can impact our life expectancy by as much as 60%. They include such factors as our socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment and social support networks, as well as our access to health care.

Homelessness and unstable housing is a significant social determinant of health. Individuals facing homelessness in Atlanta may be destined to worse health outcomes due to poor living conditions and food insecurity. These vulnerable friends also tend to have limited resources for self-care which adds more stress to their health. Imagine a man sleeping on the streets or in a car in Atlanta who is struggling with diabetes. He may have an especially difficult time managing his condition without an appropriate place to store insulin and access to food with the nutrients his body desperately needs.

“It’s hard to focus on your health when you are worried about your housing situation. Research has shown that providing safe and secure housing options can help improve health outcomes, particularly for individuals with chronic health conditions,” said Dr. Garth Graham, vice president of Community Health & Impact at CVS Health and president of Aetna Foundation.

Aetna/CVS Health have pledged to address homelessness as a social determinant of health, and working with Atlanta Mission is a big part of this commitment in Atlanta. The partnership of Aetna/CVS Health with Atlanta Mission continues to help thousands of individuals, and the impact can be seen by the unbelievable Stories of Success.

The local Aetna/CVS Health team volunteer at Atlanta Mission facilities, sponsor fundraising events and participate in the Atlanta Mission 5K Race to End Homelessness to show their commitment to building healthier communities and eliminating homelessness at a social determinant of health. Aetna/CVS Health’s mission of “Helping people on their path to better health” and Atlanta Mission’s mission of ended homelessness go hand in hand. And the commitment of these partners impact and transform the lives of thousands of men, women, and children facing homelessness in our city.

Together, Aetna/CVS Health and Atlanta Mission are making the city of Atlanta become a community united in ending homelessness, one friend at a time.

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