Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health

Healthy People 2020 (2014) defines Social Determinants of Health as, “conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). “Many racial and ethnic minority patients experience lower quality health care compared to white patients” (University of Chicago & RWJF, 2014). Disparities in health outcomes exist not only across racial and ethnic groups, but can be related to sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geography as well (USDHHS, 2014).

This week’s learning materials included an online course (IHI Open School: Improving Health Equity), and videos on innovative ideas to address and close the gap in health disparities by addressing the social determinants of health (beyond health care). Additional resources in this week’s module highlight private industry and public (government) efforts to shine a light on disparities when they exist, and provide examples of programs and services to reduce or eliminate disparities–examples at individual, organization and population levels. 

As you gather information on your Community Health Assessment assignment, take note of any disparities noted in your data (Review the Economic Indicator, Education Indicator and Health Equity reports in Community Commons). Consider the following questions in developing your initial post to this discussion board:

Define the concepts of health disparities and social determinants of health.
Introduce your county (for Community Health Assessment paper). 
Describe disparities that you found to be present for at least two health conditions for your county.
Identify and describe at least one innovative program to address disparities (from the course materials/videos/readings). What are the desired results of that program? What are the factors which will impact it’s success? 
Propose at least one strategy to address the identified health disparities within your community. Who would need to be involved in order for this strategy to be successful?

Use and cite resources and research articles; be creative and share your thoughts and ideas! Respond to at least one of your peer’s postings. 


United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Determinants of health: A framework for reaching Healthy People 2020 goals [Video]. Retrieved from

University of Chicago and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2014). Finding answers: Disparities research for change [Information on web page]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.) 
PLEASE USE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FLORIDA For this discussion post. Cite all sources.

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