It All Comes Back to a Lack of Income and Opportunity
Summary: In this pilot episode of Social Science Spotlight, Michael Donovan, Director, Policy & Outreach, Penn State’s Administrative Data Accelerator, moderates a discussion between Alexis Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at University Park and David Saunders, Director, Office of Health Equity at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Building upon an analysis request from the Office of Health Equity to Dr. Santos, the discussants share their perspectives on the links between income, poverty, and life expectancy. In his analysis, Dr. Santos explored the associations between various socioeconomic characteristics for counties in Pennsylvania and life expectancy to help address disparities across the Commonwealth from a policy perspective. Mr. Saunders describes how the Office of Health Equity focuses on vulnerable communities throughout the state and how the Office collaborates with state agencies on policies to impact the health of Pennsylvanians. The analysis provided by Dr. Santos to the Office of Health Equity begins to scratch the surface of looking at associations between social determinants of health and life expectancy at the county-level.