According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (20118), equitable means “having or exhibiting equity or dealing fairly and equally with all concerned” (2018). In an equitable society everyone would have equal access to goods and services regardless of socio-economic status, gender, race, and the alike. When we look at equity from a health lens, that means that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their highest level of health (Benjamin, 2018). Now, in an ideal world, that would be great, however, since we do not live in one, there is ample opportunity and need to achieve health equity.
“The core value of public health remains its commitment to the health of populations.”[i]Health care costs are rising and chronic diseases continue to be the leading cause of death and disease, however, much of this burden is preventable. Research has evolved to identify that health outcomes are the products of multiple and overlapping determinants of health, including biological, social and environmental determinants. So how are those determinants addressed to improve health outcomes? Policy, systems, and environment change or PSE change as it’s known in the public health world, has shown to be an effective and necessary strategy to improve the health of all sectors in a community, including worksite, schools, and healthcare.
“How can I have a healthy pregnancy?”…“Where can I get healthy food?”…“What shots do my children need?”…“What types of health clinics are offered in your community?”…or “Am I at risk for heart disease?” Do any of these questions sound familiar? You may have found yourself or people you know asking some of these questions or ones like them.