Fostering Healthy Communities Makes for Healthy Businesses

Fostering Healthy Communities Makes for Healthy Businesses

Special to the Philanthropy Journal

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 2:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Building Healthy Communities

CONTENT: Article

Originally published on NC State University Philanthropy Journal

By: Mary Linda Andrews, Director of Community Partnerships at GSK

Businesses play a vital role in the welfare of the community, impacting the lives of employees, customers, investors and countless others. Conversely, the health of all these stakeholders has a direct impact on a company’s success. Challenges to the health of a community threaten the very well-being of a company. To identify the most effective strategies for a positive impact, companies can align their efforts with those who serve communities every day – local nonprofit organizations.

The factors that influence our health often lie outside the walls of doctors’ offices and hospitals. In fact, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin, 80 percent of our health is influenced by outside factors1. Our well-being is shaped by the communities in which we live, work and play. Safety, access to nutritious foods and recreational areas, social support and education all contribute to our health.

In 2012, GSK launched a national initiative to better understand the connections between our health and our community in order to identify opportunities to build healthier communities2. Through a national survey, we learned that Americans attribute a variety of factors to their health and well-being, including parks, education and healthy food options. However, those Americans who valued these factors the most as healthy influences had the least access to them.

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