What Health Equity Means in 2023
Racism and gender bias present themselves as a threat to health equity in Illinois and nationwide. Various factors contribute to health equity or the lack of it with health disparities and various social determinants. How the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Defines Health Equity
Health Equity: Everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.
Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): Non-medical factors that influence health outcomes.
Health Disparities: The occurrence of various diseases at greater levels among certain population groups than others.
SDOH, such as poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma and racism are all linked to health disparities. African Americans, Hispanic and Asian populations experience the highest level of health disparities in the United States. Regarding health equity within Alzheimer’s patient populations, black Americans are twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias than white Americans. Hispanic Americans are one and a half times more likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias than white Americans.
Through its KnowALZ campaign, the Illinois Public Health Association is dedicated to promoting health equity throughout the state of Illinois. The current Health Equity Chair at IPHA, Tyler Jackson, works to address health disparities and promote health equity within Illinois.
Achieving health equity requires a conscious effort to address inequalities, racism and biases within healthcare and medicine. Through the promotion of awareness of health equity and the recognition of disparities threatening public health, equality can become a closer reality. Healthcare providers should consider the diversity within their communities and understand the various social determinants that can affect a patient’s health journey.
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