Health Equity: What Does It Mean to You?

Health equity can be intensely personal. It could be a dream, a hope, something you may be striving for or perhaps never thought about. We want to know what it means to you. Tell us your thoughts in our #Im4HealthEquity campaign.

To join the conversation: 

1. Download the graphic.

2. Fill in your response.

3. Take a pic and post to social media using the hashtag #Im4HealthEquity

The National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) envisions health equity as an inclusive health and social system that treats people equitably and creates conditions in which all people can achieve optimal health. Health equity reflects an educated society with a strong economy. The NPA is dedicated to advancing the nation toward that vision. Read on to learn about the health disparities that impact American society as well as efforts the NPA, its partners, you and others are doing and can do to achieve health equity. 

Health Disparities: By the Numbers

  • The United States spends more resources on health care than any other industrialized nation, but millions of Americans lack the opportunity to lead a healthy life. The sharpest differences in health are experienced by racial, ethnic and other underserved communities. 
  • Racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, residents in rural areas, and other vulnerable groups are more likely to suffer from disease and may die up to 20 years earlier than others. 
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic Whites. They also are more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease, lower extremity amputations, and complications from diabetes. 
  • Approximately 52% of Hispanics and 42% of Blacks 50 years of age and older have never had a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy screening test for colorectal cancer, compared to 36% of Whites in the same age group. 
In large part, health is affected by social determinants of health (SDOH). These are factors and conditions in places where people live, learn, work, and play that can impact a wide range of health risks and outcomes. For example, poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods. The differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH, such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education. SDOH can have a much larger impact on individual health than the medical care people receive. Understanding and applying what is known about SDOH can help to improve individual and population health and advance health equity.

Learn more about Health Equity Efforts
Visit the Regional Health Equity Councils page for information on the NPA at the regional level.