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Attaining Health Equity

Background

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 disparities or inequities, are types of unfair health differences closely linked with social, economic or environmental disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people. (Promoting Health Equity: A Resource to Help Communities Address Social Determinants of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The social determinants of health are the aspects of the environment in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with illness. These aspects are shaped by a wider set of forces (e.g., economics, social policies, and politics). (Social Determinants of Health Key Concepts, World Health Organization).

CDC's Healthy Communities Program Approach

Achieving health equity, eliminating disparities, and improving the health of all groups is an overarching goal for Healthy People 2020 and a top priority for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC's Healthy Communities Program supports eliminating socioeconomic and racial/ethnic health disparities as an integral part of its chronic disease prevention and health promotion efforts. To improve health on the local, state, and national level, communities are encouraged to identify and address social determinants of health and improve these conditions through environmental changes.


Health Equity and Racial/Ethnic Disparities Resources

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