PolicyLink: Health Equity – Moving Beyond Health Disparities

This paper from PolicyLink outlines principles for achieving health equity that move beyond identifying health disparities. The term “health equity” broadens the disparities concept by asking, “Why are some populations at greater risk of illnesses and preventable deaths than others?” This question leads to a deeper analysis and exploration of the causative factors that contribute to disparities. Health equity focuses on the root causes or social determinants of health. It requires broadening our definition of “health” to mean one’s overall quality of life, an analysis of socioeconomic factors, including education, income and wealth inequality, and a willingness to address racial and social inequality. These are the factors that impact a person’s overall quality of life and life expectancy. When health is measured not just by a lack of diseases and illness, but by access to opportunities, we see that some populations have greater access to opportunities than others.

This paper lifts up place-based strategies that are informed by the environments where people live, work, attend school, and spend time. The solutions are grounded in strengthening communities, engaging non-health sectors, lifting up promising practices, advancing progressive policy options, and identifying research gaps that can make the case for prioritizing health equity strategies.

Link to Original Source

This entry was posted in Health Status Disparities, Healthy Neighborhoods and Communities, Social Determinants of Health. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s