In an age of sophisticated healthcare technologies and research tools, the doctors you see or hospitals you visit are only a small part of what determines your health. Through extensive research and data analysis, one doctor has discovered that your zip code may matter more to your well-being than your genetic code.
Dr. Anthony Iton first witnessed the link between health and socio-economic status as a Johns Hopkins medical student working in East Baltimore at the height of the crack and AIDS epidemics. This connection became more clear in his role as the director of the Public Health Department for Alameda County. As the person responsible for signing the county’s thousands of death certificates, Dr. Iton started to notice patterns in the ages, causes of death, ethnicities, and zip codes of the deceased. Since then, he has dedicated his career to researching these correlations across the country. Today, Dr. Iton is focused on improving health conditions in 14 low-income communities throughout California as the senior vice president of the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative.
Durin this conversation Dr. Iton discuss how data helped him identify this problem—and the role technology can play in solving it.
Prior to his appointment at The California Endowment and his position at the Alameda County Public Health Department, Iton also served for three years as director of Health and Human Services and School Medical Advisor for the City of Stamford, Connecticut. Concurrent to that, he also served as a physician in internal medicine for Stamford Hospital’s HIV Clinic. Additionally, Iton served for five years as a primary care physician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.