We often think good health results from visits to a doctor, clinic, or hospital. While health care is important, it’s not enough to make or keep us healthy.
Why is that?
That’s because most of our health is shaped by the conditions in which we are born, live, learn, work, play, and age. These are called the social determinants of health (SDoH). They include factors such as the following:
- Quality of our food, housing, and neighborhoods
- Job or recreational opportunities we have access to
- Transportation and education systems we rely on
- Cultural and social interactions
- Air and water exposures
When the conditions required for good health, such as jobs that pay a living wage, safe neighborhoods, quality education, and nutritious food are distributed fairly, all people can achieve good health. But for many reasons, such as public policy, organizational behavior, and racism and other forms of discrimination, those conditions are not fairly distributed. This results in health inequities.
At Spectrum Health Lakeland, the goal of our health equity work is to collaborate with community partners to create the conditions that help all residents in our community achieve good health.
For examples of this work, visit lakelandpopulationhealth.org