MOVING HEALTH EQUITY FORWARD
in communities across the nation.
WHAT WE DO
CHCC works to advance health equity by providing support services to nonprofits, philanthropies, health departments, hospitals, and other organizations focused on addressing the root causes that produce health inequities.
With a focus on multi-sector community assessments, CHCC provides assessment services to gather relevant information needed to establish community priorities and develop environmental and policy strategies to address them.
CHCC provides research and writing services to produce policy briefs and other materials to inform program planning and policy development aimed at promoting health equity.
strategic thinking & planning
CHCC provides strategic planning services to develop and implement action plans to promote public health and move toward health equity.
CHCC provides evaluation services aimed at integrating health equity goals into the evaluation process.
HEALTH EQUITY RESOURCES
Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.
“Health disparities” and “health equity” have become increasingly familiar terms in public health, but rarely are they defined explicitly. Ambiguity in the definitions of these terms could lead to misdirection of resources. This article discusses the need for greater clarity about the concepts of health disparities and health equity, proposes definitions, and explains the rationale based on principles from the fields of ethics and human rights.
Sixty-two years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court passed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, finding that “segregation is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.” That decision, pertaining to de jure segregation in public schools, became the groundwork for dismantling many of the formal systems of racial segregation that pervaded both the South and the North in the century following the Civil War. Brown v. Board was a key milestone in the civil-rights movement, and a key weapon for that movement’s future successes.
Although the term disparities is often interpreted to mean racial or ethnic disparities, many dimensions of disparity exist in the United States, particularly in health. If a health outcome is seen to a greater or lesser extent between populations, there is disparity. Race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location all contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve good health. It is important to recognize the impact that social determinants have on health outcomes of specific populations. Healthy People strives to improve the health of all groups.
Inequities are created when barriers prevent individuals and communities from accessing these conditions and reaching their full potential. Inequities differ from health disparities, which are differences in health status between people related to social or demographic factors such as race, gender, income or geographic region. Health disparities are one way we can measure our progress toward achieving health equity.