The opportunity to be healthy is not afforded to everyone in America. As a result, heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, injury, mental illness, substance abuse, suicide, and other illnesses occur in higher frequency, earlier, and with greater severity among people living in concentrated poverty and in communities of color. This is not coincidental, and it is not about poor choices or only about access to quality healthcare. Indeed, these poor outcomes have been produced by historical and current-day policies, laws, practices, and procedures that shape the determinants of health and, consequently, have segregated too many people from the opportunity to be healthy.
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Prevention Institute has analyzed what has contributed to these inequities to determine a pathway forward to produce health equity. There is a role for every institution, sector, and system working together to achieve an equitable culture of health across the United States. It is our urgent imperative to create health and opportunity for all.