Designing Community Health Efforts with Health Equity in Mind
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.
Three major modifiable health risk behaviors that are responsible for many early deaths related to chronic diseases are1:
Lack of Physical Activity
6 in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic disease1
Many chronic conditions tend to be more common, diagnosed later, and result in worse outcomes for particular groups. These health disparities related to chronic conditions may be seen in the following groups:
- people of color
- people with disabilities
- people living in rural communities
- older adults
- people with mental or substance use disorders
- people with less than high school education
- people with low-income and those experiencing poverty
- people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)
Here’s what you can do to reduce health disparities and improve health for all in your community:
Build Organizational Capacity Around Health Equity
Advancing health equity requires organizations to be purposeful in every action and think carefully about how the work gets done.
Meaningfully Engage the Community
Include populations affected by health inequities in the efforts to improve communities.
Develop Diverse and Inclusive Partnerships
Amplify the often unheard voices of populations most directly affected by inequities through partnerships and coalitions with diverse skills and expertise.
Identify and Understand Health Inequities
Collect data to help establish baselines, monitor trends over time, and ensure strategies account for the needs and barriers encountered by populations experiencing health inequities.
Consider Health Equity in Selection, Design, and Implementation
Strategy selection, design, and implementation can have a great impact on the populations experiencing health inequities, the organizations doing the work, and the community at large.
Make the Case for Health Equity
Communicating effectively requires an understanding of the community context, using messages supported with relevant data, and increased awareness of stakeholder issues.
Address Health Equity in Evaluation Efforts
To more accurately interpret findings and effectively focus interventions, design evaluations to understand what works, for whom, under what conditions, and reveal whether health inequities have decreased, increased, or remained the same.
For More Information Visit: Advancing Health Equity and Preventing Chronic Disease