As we move into the new year, it always serves to look back and reflect on where the health of our city stands. In order to effectively do that, it is necessary to acknowledge the demographics of our city as they directly impact our health. These statistics come from the most recent Cincinnati Health Profile (2016).
- Based on self-reports, 45% of Cincinnati residents are African-American and 54% are white. Immigrants come to Cincinnati from Asia (36%), Latin America (24%) and Africa (21%).
- The median family income is $33,604 which is lower than the median for Hamilton county and for the state of Ohio. 31% of Cincinnati families earn below the Federal Poverty line (for a family of 4 – $24,600)
- Among adults 18-64 years of age, 17% are uninsured. 18% cannot afford a doctor and 17% cannot afford medications. 36% of adults 18-64 do not have dental insurance.
- 8% of Cincinnati residents do not own a car. Having access to some form of transportation, having access to stores that sell fresh food and access to employment are major factors to consider when evaluating health.
- Millvale, Price Hill and Winton Hills are the highest need neighborhoods based on socio-economic factors (income, education insurance and housing status).
Over the past ten years, the Cincinnati Health Department has stepped up and attempted to respond to the realities that those demographics present. The response includes the development of nine health centers throughout the city, 13 school-based health centers and five dental centers. Given the high infant mortality rate, the Health Department has developed programs in the area of education, care coordination and home visits for new mothers.
All health centers are open to all Cincinnati residents whether one has insurance or not.
Clearly there is much more that needs to be done to elevate the health and wellbeing of the people of Cincinnati. However, it doesn’t hurt to be made aware of the stark realities with which we must deal. Everyone has a role they can play in the move toward better health – even if it is no more than spreading the word that health care is available for all through the city’s health centers.
As we have already stepped into the start of the holiday season, may you plan good things for your loved ones and family, but may you also keep the most vulnerable in our city in mind and find something meaningful to do to help change the statistics that define Cincinnati.
Dr. Kimya Moyo (Health Department Liaison)