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Public Health

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“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

– World Health Organization

“In general, health disparities are defined as significant differences between one population and another. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, which authorizes several HHS programs, describes these disparities as differences in “the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates.”  There are several factors that contribute to health disparities.  Many different populations are affected by disparities including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.” 

– U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Communities of color and low wealth communities experience health differently as a result of poverty, segregation, exposures to toxic hazards, lack of access to healthy foods and health care, variations in medical treatment, special sensitivities and disease susceptibility.  These issues are researched and thoroughly documented.  Sustainable development, smart growth and the nation’s green economy transition offer opportunities to revitalize communities in ways that  buttress overall health by eliminating disparities and the conditions under which they occur.

Additional Resources:

the new public health picRacial Health Disparities 

Environmental Justice and Community-Based Participatory Research 

Social Determinants of Health Equity 

Healthy Environments, Healthy People