Perspective

Are my neighbors healthy?

Loving one’s neighbors is a biblical mandate Breanna Lathrop has adopted in her nursing practice as well as in her personal life. She is a family nurse practitioner at the Good Samaritan Health Center in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia.

Breanna is invested in addressing social determinants of health as they affect neighborhoods.

“Neighborhoods are making people sick,” she believes, and nurses can address and implement change by realizing that social determinants of health, such as poverty, food access, housing, and employment, affect everyone to some degree.

“There are things each of us can do in our own spheres of influence that can impact the health of our neighbors,” Breanna asserts. “Even if we make one change, think differently, or question assumptions about another’s needs and problems, we can bring about community and system-level change.”

Breanna urges us, as followers of Christ, to ask the question Jesus did: Who is my neighbor? She believes a neighbor is whomever is in our sphere, in the ZIP code next to us, at the store with us. While many of us live in neighborhoods with access to healthy food, basic health care, safe housing, and living wage jobs, neighborhoods just blocks away might experience a very different reality. 

Read the full story at InterVarsity.

Photo: Blubel, Unsplash

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