The Greenfield Health Department believes that each person can achieve their highest level of health. This should not be impacted by where someone lives, who someone is, or how much money they make.
While individual decision-making is very important in someone's health, the decisions that someone makes are impacted by the opportunities someone has available to them. By working together, we can support everyone in receiving the necessary opportunities to make healthier decisions and increase health for all.
Healthy equity provides the understanding that making healthier decisions is more difficult without better access to good jobs, homes, and schools. A united effort is needed to increase opportunities to be healthier for everyone, especially those who are facing greater hurdles.
Does health equality equal health equity?
No, health equality does not equal health equity. To further explain, look at the image to the right. All three of the people watching the baseball game on the left are standing on a box and each box is the same size. While it seems fair to offer each person the same box, the shortest person is still unable to see the game.
All of the individuals are different heights and need different things to be able to watch the game. On the right, the shortest person is given two boxes, the second shortest is provided one box, and the tallest person is able to see without a box.
By ensuring that each individual's needs were met, all three individuals are now able to watch the game. This example shows that while equality may seem fair, equity provides more fair and just opportunities so that everyone can reach their own goals based on their needs. Now that is a home run!
How can health equity be addressed in local public health and other public health organizations?
Local public health and other public health organizations can use a Health Equity Toolkit to introduce health department staff to the concepts of health equity and better support those familiar with its concepts by providing more tools to help increase use of health equity into their organizations and communities.
How can I start a conversation about health equity with my family?
Reading books to or with your child can be a great way to introduce topics like health equity. Check out this reading list for book recommendations.