Health equity is achieved when everyone has the opportunity to reach their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.
Social determinants of health have an impact on our health and quality of life. Social determinates include: safe housing, discrimination, job opportunities, income, access to nutritious foods, physical activity opportunities, and language and literacy skills. Social determinates of health contribute to health inequities. Public Health works to improve conditions in people’s environment and address health disparities. Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve reach their full health potential.
Addressing health equity is a core component of public health. The well-recognized framework of the Ten Essentials of Public Health, now puts equity in the center. Essential Public Health Services need to actively promote policies, systems, and overall community conditions that enable optimal health for all. In addition, these services need to address the systemic and structural barriers that have resulted in health inequities. Such barriers include poverty, racism, gender discrimination, and other forms of oppression.
Watch the Winnebago County YouTube Channel for video clips on health equity:
WCHD Addressing Health Equity
WCHD works to achieve health equity by addressing the causes for differences in health outcomes (health disparities) among groups of people. WCHD is working with partner agencies to identify additional collaborative efforts to address health equity in the community.
A staff Health Equity Committee helps guide WCHD’s efforts in achieving health equity. This internal committee utilizes an evidence-based curriculum from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) to train staff on health equity throughout the year.
All WCHD services and programs work to include health equity. From grants decisions to requests on how and where services are provided, WCHD looks to address the needs of our most vulnerable populations and acts to improve the health outcomes.
WCHD looks for opportunities to engage with our community to address health disparities. Below are a few examples of partnerships working to improve health equity in Winnebago County that the public can also become engaged in. Click here for other involvement opportunities.
Maternal, Infant, Child Health Team
Maternal and Child Health is a priority for WCHD. Click here to learn more. WCHD works with the Maternal, Infant, Child Health Team, a collaboration of partners working toward keeping all moms and babies alive in Winnebago County, to address the health disparities in maternal and infant death rates.
If you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant, learn the Urgent Maternal Warning Signs.
Communities of Concern (COC)
Started during the COVID-19 pandemic, WCHD continues to hosts a workgroup dedicated to addressing health disparities in our County’s most impacted communities.