Priorities and Resources
Equity is defined in the dictionary as something that is fair and just, and being equitable requires us to value all people equally. Health equity occurs when everyone has the opportunity to attain their full health potential. Historically, many health policies and programs throughout the United States and abroad have not been equitable and have created health disparities, which are differences in health outcomes based on race, ethnicity, gender, and other social factors.
Why should we prioritize health equity?
By prioritizing health equity we demonstrate that we value all people equally and want all to achieve the highest level of health. Recognizing disparities in access and quality of health and health care provides us with a clearer picture of what gaps currently exist and what mistakes or errors we need to correct. Equitable decision-making begins with each one of us. Check out the resources below for how we might better align our decision-making with health equity.
What do you need to address
Before addressing health equity, we need to know the vulnerable populations within our communities. Using the links below will help you identify these people in the areas you serve:
Educate yourself on health disparities and their causes:
Coming Soon! An online module that will walk you through resources to identify socially vulnerable groups within your community and ways to use data to enact change.
Here are some ways you can commit to health equity within your organization:
Update mission or value statements to include health equity.
Recognize and educate others on health equity.
Assess past and future policies or decisions through a health equity lens.
Developing a health equity mindset and convincing others in your organization to value health equity can be challenging. Below are some resources that can help you get started.
Equity is a component of justice, often defined as the quality of being fair. When pursuing health equity we need to value each person and commit to helping them achieve their maximum health potential.
"Justice rests on the belief in the fundamental value and dignity of all persons." - CDC
When addressing health equity you may encounter some push back from people who do not value equity or see it as important. Read more about strategies to communicate effectively and ensure the biggest positive impact.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arpzx6TJuQI
What steps can we take to achieve health equity?
In order to achieve equity we must be proactive in decision-making while also identifying past practices that may not have led to equitable outcomes. When implementing a policy, several tools exist that can help determine the potential impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, one of which is the Health Equity Planning Tool. Download the tool below with the instructional guide to get you started!