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Health Equity

In preparation for my upcoming book, a womanness guide to self-care. I wanted to spend a minute on health equity answering the question, what is health equity, and why is it important? So simply health equity means that everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible regardless of their circumstances. And this is achieved with several steps that include improving diversity and minority representation and clinical trials.

And that for me, I can provide the experience of being part of clinical trials related to black women and breast cancer. And, during the period, when I was participating in those trials, there was not a lot of, representation for black women of color, other steps can include studying health disparities that disproportionately, impact minorities, minority communities, and definitely on black women, we have our share of health disparities on when it comes to just being, having higher, mortality rates when it comes to heart disease, cancers, diabetes, lupus, and there are many others, unfortunately providing access to factual health information that is easy to understand that's culturally competent and available in a variety of ways and a variety of languages, after all, we are looking at, making sure that we equity, not just equality, so equity versus equality, they sound similar, but they are different.

There are big differences, between the terms equity and equality means that everyone is given the same resources and equity is recognizing that some individuals or groups need, something extra or something different to have a positive outcome. So examples of health equity include providing lower-cost services to, those with lower incomes offering to even

Or late-night health appointments. Those who work longer shifts have different, non I'll just say, nonstandard, not working the regular, they're not available to come into a doctor's appointment or a clinical appointment between the hours of nine and five and then prioritizing education testing and treatment for communities that are disproportionately impacted by certain health conditions. And we all have seen what COVID 19 has done. So why is health equity important? Well, the center for disease Control, office of minority health and health equity says it best persistent health disparities in our country are unacceptable but correctable health influences happiness and overall wellbeing. So it's only logical that everyone should get the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. And I know self-care has become this real big buzz, but self-care is not something that's distributed equally because of resources because of some of the social issues that I've talked about it, self-care is I'll just say it, it's not cheap.

It costs money to have quality food, not just access to the food but being able to have quality food, fruits, vegetables, etc. And with COVID 19, I'm going a little bit off topic here, but I have seen where many people are starting their gardens at home, but anyway, health equity, it involves breaking down barriers, such as discrimination and lack of resources that lead to those inequalities. It means recognizing that some demographics require additional resources and opportunities to reach their full health potential. So if we want to practice self-care and encourage folks to practice self-care, they need to have available resources. So what are the health disparities I led up to, I talked about a few, but health disparities refer to differences that impact one's ability to achieve optimal health examples of, health disparities include race, gender, education, income, sexual orientation, geographic location, mental health, physical, and cognitive abilities?

Health inequities are the direct result of these differences in health outcomes, among certain groups of people. So what are social determinants of health? Social determinants of health are the environmental condition that impacts or, affects one's health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Social determinants of health can be grouped into five categories, economic stability, education, access, and quality, healthcare access, quality neighborhood and, building, environment, the neighborhood, and the type of housing you live in, and then five social and community context. So these social determinants of health can also contribute, to health disparities, and inequities, for example, an inability to access healthy groceries. As I talked about a bit earlier income and or location can lead to poor nutrition, and poor nutrition can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. So it's important that you have access to quality, healthcare, quality, food, quality, neighborhoods because we can talk about going outside, getting fresh air and, riding our bikes going for walks.

But if your community is not safe, you can't do that. And so that is, again, part of the social determinants of health and then creating spaces and places where there's actually equity. So achieving health equity requires a collective organizational community political and individual efforts. So when I talk about, the womanness ethic of care there's space and a place for our community, as it recognizes a black women's lived experiences, when it comes to health, when it comes to wellness and when black women are healthy, our communities are healthy. Our children are healthy.

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