UCF hosted its 4th Annual Distinguished Lecture Series entitled “Finding the Intersection of Planning, Health, and Poverty” on November 12th at Florida Hospital in Orlando. The series was supported by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and had more than 60 people in attendance.
Keynote speaker Anna Ricklin, AICP, American Planning Association Manager, discussed how planning professionals have the ability to improve the health of community residents through multiple strategies and to mitigate the impact of poverty on the health of a community.
Lisa Portelli, WPHF Program Director for Community Health, moderated the panel discussion which included: Dr. Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, Lecturer, UCF School of Public Administration; Mary Stewart-Droege, Planner, City of Orlando; and Ken Peach, Executive Director, Health Council of East Central Florida. Ms. Portelli also is an Adjunct Professor at UCF teaching Planning Healthy Communities.
The issue is important, Ms. Portelli reported in her opening presentation, because according to the Commission to Build a Healthier America, research is proving that a complex array of factors are linked with poverty and make up the “social determinants” of health. For example, the Commission reports the higher a person’s educational level and income, the more likely the person is to have a longer life expectancy. In fact, those in the highest income group can expect to live at least six and a half years longer than those living in poverty.
The lecture and panel discussion will be broadcast on Orange TV in the spring of 2015.