What is Health Equity?
While individual decision-making plays an important role in health outcomes, health is also influenced by many factors outside of our control, including where we live, our skin color, and socio-economic status, to name a few. It is difficult to make healthy decisions without certain education, opportunities, and access.
Health equity is a vision of society in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live their healthiest life. It provides the understanding that making healthier decisions is more difficult without better access to quality education, safe housing, and sufficient employment. A united effort is necessary to increase opportunities to be healthier for everyone, especially those who face greater barriers.
What is the difference between Health Equality and Health Equity?
Health equality is giving everyone the same resources without taking an individual's needs into consideration. To further explain, see the image below. The four individuals in the top half of the picture have been treated equally and given the same bike to ride. However, this bike is only adequate for one of the individuals. The others are too small, too large, or physically unable to use the bike. The individuals in the bottom half of the picture were treated with equity in mind. Each person was given the bike that is right for them so that they all have the opportunity to ride and live their healthiest life.
Our Commitment to Health Equity:
The South Milwaukee/St. Francis Health Department believes that each and every person has the right to live a full and healthy life. We acknowledge that factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, environment, and socio-economic status play a major role in health status and well-being. We are committed to aligning our values, policies, and practices to eliminate disparities to advance health equity for all South Milwaukee and St. Francis residents. We will do this by integrating health equity into the Health Department, enhancing staff knowledge and skills, and evaluating our methods of communication with equity in mind.