In March 2021, the Greater Chattanooga Chamber Foundation retained Tripp Umbach to conduct a community transformation study focused on reducing health disparities and expanding economic vitality in the Greater Chattanooga area.
Chattanooga, in Hamilton County, Tennessee, is the fourth-largest city in the state with a 9 percent population growth over the last 10 years. An important catalyst in achieving success for this project was the creation of a Regional Steering Committee, including leaders from education, healthcare, human service, government, economic development, nonprofit, and community-based organizations that provided guidance and support for the development of the assessment.
Tripp Umbach conducted economic and social impact analysis on issues of economic and health equity, housing stability, healthy food security, and healthcare workforce diversity to provide community leaders with an understanding of the value of reducing health and economic disparities.
Analysis included evaluation of Chattanooga-area community health needs assessments, a review of existing health data, a review of community health initiatives, and interviews with key stakeholders.
Chattanooga has the opportunity to create more connected, cohesive communities that align and support monumental, sustainable regional initiatives focused on both healthcare transformation and community health improvement – giving Chattanooga an edge to compete as a national destination and laboratory for the study of health and economic development.
Tripp Umbach’s findings create a roadmap for this change. Analysis found that health disparities cost the Chattanooga area $132 million in excess medical care costs and $60 million in lost productivity annually. High-cost housing has a $200 million impact annually, and the economic cost to Chattanooga children from environmental disease caused by inadequate housing is estimated to be $44 million annually.
Tripp Umbach’s analysis, positioned at the intersection of healthcare, education, and economic well-being, is intended to guide the transformation of health equity in Chattanooga and serve as the platform for generating billions of dollars in the regional economy.
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Tripp Umbach Project Director
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