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Health Equity

Eliminating differences in health status and outcomes among different groups of people

New Health Equity Resource

The American Medical Association Center for Health Equity has released a new publication, Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts. From their website:

"The guide is comprised of three key components to guide physicians and health care professionals. They include:

Part 1: Health equity language: This section of the guide sets out to help the reader recognize the limitations and harmful consequences of some commonly used words and phrases. In their place, we offer equity-centered alternatives.

Part 2: Why narratives matter: Dominant narratives (also called malignant narratives), particularly those about “race,” individualism and meritocracy, as well as narratives surrounding medicine itself, limit our understanding of the root causes of health inequities. Dominant narratives create harm, undermining public health and the advancement of health equity; they must be named, disrupted and corrected.

Part 3: Glossary of key terms:The glossary provides an overview of key terms and concepts that are frequently used in health equity discussions. It is by no means exhaustive, nor is it a definitive list of correct/incorrect answers. Rather, it is intended to serve as a starting point for reflection. It is a guide on current usage of important terms and will be updated over time. Whenever possible, we cite authoritative sources and introduce ongoing debates over definitions."

About Health Equity

Health equity is 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.” (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Groups of people differ in terms of disease incidence and prevalence, disease course, and health outcomes. These are health disparities. Research in this area includes:

  • whether or not there are health disparities for a given condition for given groups of people
  • what those health disparities are and what impact they have on the group and/or society
  • what is causing those health disparities (genetics, environmental conditions, cultural conditions, access to medical care, differential treatment, etc.)
  • how identified health disparities can be eliminated (educational interventions, improved screening, etc.)

It's important to remember that many people are members of multiple groups affected by health disparities, such as a Latina who is underinsured living in an urban area or a transgender teen living in a rural area. The distinctions made in this LibGuide are for ease of finding information, but do not necessarily address issues of intersectionality.. 

Books on Equity and Combatting Bias

Click on the title to see the record in the catalog. It will give you links to the full-text of the book (if available) or tell you if the print book is available for checkout. In the catalog, you can also request a book located at the Carlson or LaValley Law Libraries be sent to Mulford Library for checkout.

Health Disparity Tools