Health Equity Decision-Making: Ask "Who is being left out?"


A fundamental mistake in decision-making and program implementation that produces inequitable results and processes is an approach that treats everyone the same, Pennsylvania AHEC Program Director Dr. Ben Fredrick said during the Pennsylvania Department of Health Office of Health Equity's conference on November 4.


Instead of using an "equality" approach that takes no account of important differences in how people can participate in programs and opportunities, Dr. Fredrick recommended an "equity" approach that purposefully considers who is being left out and how designs and solutions can be inclusive, as illustrated in the biking graphic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


A useful tool to identify groups of people who may be left out or marginalized during decision-making and program planning uses the PROGRESS acronym: Place (geography), Religion, Occupation, Gender, Race/ethnicity, Educational attainment, Socioeconomic status, Stigma (disability, LGBTQ, age, etc.).


See other examples of equity-based decision-making in Dr. Fredrick's conference slides on our website under Training Programs. For more information on health equity-based decision-making, please be in touch with PA AHEC's new Training Center for Health Equity.


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