Why the Census Is a Healthcare Issue

2020 Census
Print icon
By Jeffrey A. Flaks
Hartford HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer
and
Sarah S. Lewis
Hartford HealthCare Vice President, Health Equity

Among the New Year’s resolutions that you’ve made (or maybe already broken), here’s one that should be easy to keep: Complete your U.S. Census form, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

The Census, conducted once every 10 years, is many things: a count of the population, a way to measure demographic changes over time — and, yes, the means to determine how many U.S. Representatives each state should have. But people who work to improve the quality of others’ lives should see the census not as a political requirement, but as a tool for improving healthcare and health equity.

Completing a census form is one important and easy way every adult can help make her or his community a healthier place to live and work.

You’ve heard it said that your family’s health status is determined more by your ZIP code than your genetic code. Several studies have proven this, and it’s hardly surprising. Where you live determines your access to quality healthcare, a clean environment, decent food and housing, recreation resources and good schools.

All of these are factors in what’s become known as the “social determinants of health.” Improving these factors improves health overall. But unlike quitting smoking or eating better, making these changes is outside our individual control. It requires resources — planning, programs and funding.

Census data is absolutely essential in demonstrating the need for these resources. The findings in the census drive funding levels to cities, counties and states —  amounting to more than $700 billion a year nationally for education, Medicaid and Community Development Block Grants.

These programs are especially important for the very cities where most hospitals are located (for Hartford HealthCare: Hartford, Bridgeport, Meriden, New Britain, Norwich, Torrington and Willimantic). Enhancing access to social and economic opportunities there and elsewhere boosts the quality of life — and that improves health.

You’ll soon have the chance to take part in the 2020 Census. It will take you only a few minutes to fill out the form. Please take the time, and ask those you care about to do so, as well.

Being counted means standing up for better health in your community.

For more information on the Census, click here.


What's New

Jeffrey A. Flaks

A Message From Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks

With the concerns about coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to assure you that Hartford HealthCare is doing everything possible to protect the safety and well-being of the people and the communities we serve, and our team of healthcare providers. Our goal is to be ready and prepared for whatever is...

Quite Smoking

Trying to Quit Smoking? Here’s Some Help

By Ellen Anderson Dornelas, PhD Director, Cancer Care Delivery and Disparities Research Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute What do President Obama and Keith Richards have in common?  Both struggled to quit smoking cigarettes. The legendary rocker said that quitting smoking was “harder than quitting heroin.” At age 76, he stopped smoking...

Pancreatic Cancer Recovery

How to Manage Pancreatic Cancer Treatment’s Side Effects

A pancreatic cancer survivor is any person who is actively facing pancreatic cancer or has faced it at some point. It could be someone who has completed treatment or a patient actively receiving chemotherapy for a limited or long-term management of their disease. Patients treated with chemotherapy experience a variety...

Breast Cancer Awareness

The New Normal for Breast Cancer Survivors

The word “patient” stems from the Latin word patiens, meaning sufferer. Until recently, a diagnosis of cancer conveyed a sense of victimhood and loss of control, hence labels such as “cancer patient” or “cancer victim.” Despite good intentions, these terms left those with a cancer diagnosis feeling isolated and somehow...


Art exhibit helps ease the anxiety of cancer treatment

Rounded and slightly distorted, the photos give the feel of looking through a ship’s thick glass porthole or the domed eye of a fish at a view that is both wondrous and intriguing. Two dozen pieces from the collection of regarded Wethersfield photographer Jack McConnell’s “Hartford Parallax: ‘Round Hartford” collection...