Health Equity

In the past couple of posts, we’ve discussed the topics of the “Social Determinants of Health” and “Equity versus Equality.”

The underlying message of the “Social Determinants of Health” is that the conditions in which people live have a more significant impact on their overall state of health than their genetics.  Access to quality food, education, transportation, and living conditions all play a critical part in our health.

The concept of “Equity versus Equality” challenges the idea that giving “equal” treatment to every individual is adequate.  Instead, equitable treatment accounts for individual/community needs and unique sets of circumstances.

This month, we’re taking what we’ve learned from each of the past two advocacy topics (the Social Determinants of Health and Equity versus Equality) as we look at Health Equity.

This short video produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation does a great job of illustrating what Health Equity is and provides examples of initiatives that have tackled complex issues by providing fair, equitable solutions. “When everyone is healthy, everyone benefits.”


This matters because…

Understanding Health Equity is a vital piece in moving the needle in health outcomes.  If we understand the relationship between “equity” and the Social determinants of Health (access to quality food, affordable housing, education, transportation, stable income, and stable relationships), we are more likely to create sustainable change.

Social Determinants of Health

There’s a lot of discussion today focused on the Social Determinants of Health.  These are defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age and include factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, and physical environment, employment, and social support networks as well as access to health care.

There are a growing number of programs and initiatives working to address the Social Determinants of Health both within and outside of the healthcare system.

Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and consider the impacts of these Social Determinants of Health on our community.