5 Ways to Be Health Equity In Your Community
The United States is experiencing a health equity crisis. Communities of color, low-income communities, and rural areas are facing unique and severe challenges in accessing quality care and improving the health of their populations. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Equity Atlas, in 33 states there is a racial or ethnic disparity gap in access to care (or fair access).
That means that African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, or other groups are not able to get the same care as other people at the same stage of illness from the same provider. It’s no secret that people with greater financial resources have more options for healthcare. The well-to-do have access to better nutrition and education which leads them to making healthier lifestyle choices. These decisions also allow them to afford more expensive healthcare when they need it. Health equity is about closing those gaps and making sure all people have equal access to good healthcare. Follow these five simple tips to help reach this goal in your community:
Reach out to underserved populations
If you want to make health equity a reality in your community, you need to reach out to the people who need help the most. Health equity is a concept that exists in many parts of the country, so it’s important to find populations that need the most attention. Some communities will have a large number of people of color and low-income individuals. In these situations, it may be easy to overlook the needs of others in your community.
Start by surveying your community to find out the health equity issues that are most pressing there. Are there large numbers of people who are uninsured or have difficulty paying for medication? Do certain groups have a particularly high rate of certain health issues? Find out, and then work to address these problems in your community.
Offer free or low-cost healthcare
Healthcare is expensive. Even with insurance, medical visits can quickly add up. Getting a flu shot is $30 or a doctor’s appointment is $150. When you have to pay for health services out of pocket, it can feel like a burden. Healthcare costs are prohibitive for many people in low- and middle-income communities.
There are plenty of ways that you can make healthcare more accessible in your community. Some common ways are to deliver care in underserved areas, to offer services on a sliding scale, or to offer free or low-cost health insurance. Some community health centers also offer free or low-cost healthcare services as part of their mission, making them a good place to start.
Read More: how many eggs per day can someone eat on the keto diet?
Foster improved community health and safety
Health equity is about providing better healthcare for all individuals, but it is also about making sure that people in your community feel safe and healthy. There are a number of ways that you can improve community health and safety. Some of these include giving priority to programs that help people with food insecurity and mental health issues, and improving educational opportunities for underserved populations.
Improve data collection and maintenance
Making healthcare more accessible, however, is only useful if it leads to better health outcomes. To do this, you will need to improve data collection and maintenance. Having good data about your community’s health is incredibly useful. It can help guide behavioral change and give communities a better understanding of the health problems they face. It can also help researchers understand how to improve healthcare in the future. You can do this by starting an open health data collection program. Open data allows you to collect health data from a variety of sources. This can include data from government programs and from health care providers.
Conduct research to develop new strategies and practices
To make sure your community has access to high-quality healthcare, you will need to conduct research. You can do this through community-based research projects or by partnering with universities or other research institutions. Through this research, you can develop new strategies and practices to improve healthcare. These could include screenings for diseases like heart disease or diabetes or strategies for finding high-quality healthcare.
Health equity is a critical issue because nearly one-third of the U.S. population is uninsured and two-thirds are underinsured. It’s important to get involved in your community to make sure everyone has basic health coverage, regardless of income or race. If you want to make health equity a reality in your community, you need to reach out to the people who need help the most, offer free or low-cost healthcare, foster improved community health and safety, improve data collection and maintenance, conduct research to develop new strategies and practices, and much more. The good news is that achieving health equity is easier than you think.
Leave a Comment