3-4-50 Framework aligns existing efforts to create healthier community

Improving the health and well-being of our community will require the collective effort of everyone living in it.

Today, three behaviors (tobacco use, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle) contribute to four chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, diabetes, lung disease) that cause more than 50 percent of all deaths worldwide.

In Western New York, heart disease and cancer together account for about 80 percent of deaths in our region.

If we want to make transformational change in our community’s health, we cannot rely solely on the health care system. We must address what gets people sick in the first place and build communities where healthy lifestyles are encouraged and made easier for people to embrace

At a presentation to physicians, funders and insurers hosted by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, John Craik, executive director of Population Health Collaborative, shared information about the 3-4-50 Framework, a model that aligns the efforts of health care providers, community organizations, businesses, schools and government to change behaviors and create a healthier community.

There are five elements in the 3-4-50 Framework: health care education, community marketing and education, community mobilization, structural changes and evaluation.

All are important, but no one element works without the other four.

Healthy habits that begin at home in childhood, reinforced in schools and in the workplace, and continued into how we live our lives in retirement, are the best ways to ensure overall health and wellbeing in our community.

Much of this, we already know and there are existing efforts to address these issues.  So what makes 3-4-50 different?  The 3-4-50 framework is a strategic response to the need to bring all of these efforts together and increase buy-in from the broader community.  It supports and enhances work already being done, and helps to bring disparate efforts together with the goal of creating greater collective impact.

The framework is currently being used in San Diego, California, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and the state of Vermont, all of which could potentially serve as models for Western New York.

Next steps include replicating successful community change models, determining what healthy lifestyle initiatives already exist, and examining the cost of our region’s chronic disease problem in terms of economic development.  We need to actively reach out to and engage more community members at large from a large and diverse set of sectors and backgrounds.

For more information, contact John Craik at (716) 923-6573 or jcraik@phcwny.org.