Healthy Society Series: Health Equity 101. Transforming the Health of our Nation
The global COVID-19 pandemic has revealed more clearly the huge health and health-care disparities between groups that are closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage. Disparities occur across many dimensions, including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, location, gender, disability status, and sexual orientation—what are termed social determinants of health. Many disparities in health are rooted in inequities in the opportunities and resources needed to be as healthy as possible.
The term health equity is used widely by professionals to talk about how to eliminate such disparities, but there is no common understanding of what it means. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”
This program will explore how the concept of health equity can help us to understand how to create a society that supports health for all people, and in so doing transforms the health of our nation.
Robert Lee Kilpatrick
MLF: Health & Medicine