Health Equity Glossary

Health – is the physical. Spiritual, mental, emotional, environmental, social, cultural and economic wellness of the individual, family, and community

Equity – justice according to natural law or right; specifically; freedom from bias or favoritism

Health Equity – achieving the highest level of health for all people; it requires valuing everyone equally, with ongoing efforts to address avoidable inequities, historical and other injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities

Equity Agenda – working to advance just outcomes that are sensitive to the needs and circumstances of the populations in question – working to erase the barriers that stand in the way for everyone to succeed

Equity Lens – the perspective through which one views conditions and circumstances to understand who receives the benefits and who bears the burdens of any given program, policy, or practice

Racism - a system of oppression based on socially constructed concept of race exercised by the dominant racial group (whites) over non-dominant racial groups; a system of oppression created to justify social, political, and economic hierarchy

Sexism – prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex

Equality - assuring individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favorably, on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age

Health Inequities - are differences in health that are avoidable, unfair, and unjust. Health inequities are rooted in social injustices that make some populations more vulnerable to poor health, and poor health outcomes than other groups

Health Disparities – differences and/or gaps in the quality of health and healthcare across racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. It can also be understood as population- specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to healthcare

Healthcare Disparity – racial or ethnic differences in the quality of health care that are not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences, and appropriateness of intervention

Social Determinants of Health - conditions in the environment 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

Vulnerable populations – people who are at greater risk of experiencing poor health outcomes due to social and economic factors, such as race/ethnicity, zip code, income, current health status, age, and distribution of wealth and resources