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Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD Social Determinants of Health and Equity 18 th National Health Equity Research Webcast University of North Carolina.

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Presentation on theme: "Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD Social Determinants of Health and Equity 18 th National Health Equity Research Webcast University of North Carolina."— Presentation transcript:

1 Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD Social Determinants of Health and Equity 18 th National Health Equity Research Webcast University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health June 5, Social Determinants of Health Disparities Moving the nation to care about social justice Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office

2 Social Determinants of Health Disparities Moving the nation to care about social justice Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3 Overview  Social determinants of health disparities differ from social determinants of health  Health disparities don’t “just so happen”  Definition of racism  Generalized definition of structured inequity  Health equity and social justice  International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination

4 Levels of health intervention

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17 Medical care and tertiary prevention Safety net programs and secondary prevention Primary preventionAddressing the social determinants of health

18 But how do disparities arise?  Differences in the quality of care received within the health care system  Differences in access to health care, including preventive and curative services  Differences in life opportunities, exposures, and stresses that result in differences in underlying health status

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26 Differences in access to care Differences in exposures and opportunities Differences in quality of care (ambulance slow or goes the wrong way)

27 Addressing the social determinants of health disparities: Why are there differences in resources along the cliff face? Why are there differences in who is found at different parts of the cliff?

28 3 dimensions of health intervention

29 Health services

30 3 dimensions of health intervention Health services Addressing social determinants of health

31 3 dimensions of health intervention Health services Addressing social determinants of health Addressing social determinants of health disparities Source: Jones CP et al. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2009.

32 What is racism? A system

33 What is racism? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value

34 What is racism? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how we look (“race”)

35 What is racism? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how we look (“race”)  Unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities

36 What is racism? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how we look (“race”)  Unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities  Unfairly advantages other individuals and communities

37 What is racism? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how we look (“race”)  Unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities  Unfairly advantages other individuals and communities  Saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources Source: Jones CP. Confronting Institutionalized Racism. Phylon 2003;50(1-2):7-22.

38 Measuring institutionalized racism  Scan for evidence of “racial” disparities  “Could racism be operating here?”  Routinely monitor opportunities as well as outcomes by “race”  Identify mechanisms  “How is racism operating here?”  Structures: the who?, what?, when?, and where? of decision-making  Policies: the written how?  Practices and norms: the unwritten how?  Values: the why? Source: Jones CP. Confronting Institutionalized Racism. Phylon 2003;50(1-2):7-22.

39 What is [inequity] ? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on [fill in the blank]

40 What is [inequity] ? A system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on [fill in the blank], which  Unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities  Unfairly advantages other individuals and communities  Saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources

41 Many axes of inequity  “Race”  Gender  Ethnicity  Labor roles and social class markers  Nationality, language, and legal status  Sexual orientation  Disability status  Geography  Religion These are risk markers, not risk factors

42 What is health equity?  “Health equity” is assurance of the conditions for optimal health for all people  Achieving health equity requires  Valuing all individuals and populations equally  Recognizing and rectifying historical injustices  Providing resources according to need  Health disparities will be eliminated when health equity is achieved Source: Jones CP 2010, adapted from the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities.

43 Musings Traditional ethics Individual level  Autonomy  Beneficence  Justice Integrative bioethics Collective level  Self-determination  Power to decide  Power to act  Control of resources  Social welfare  Protection  Promotion  Social justice  Distribution of resources among socially assigned groups

44 Social justice  Evident when there is NO systematic structuring of opportunity or assignment of value based on group membership Source: Jones CP, Hatch A, Troutman A. Fostering a Social Justice Approach to Health: Health Equity, Human Rights, and an Antiracism Agenda. Health Issues in the Black Community (third edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

45 Barriers in moving the nation to care about social justice  A-historical culture  The present as disconnected from the past  Current distribution of advantage/disadvantage as happenstance  Systems and structures as givens and immutable  Narrow focus on the individual  Self-interest narrowly defined  Limited sense of interdependence  Limited sense of collective efficacy  Systems and structures as invisible or irrelevant  Myth of meritocracy  Role of hard work  Denial of racism  Two babies: Equal potential or equal opportunity?

46 Moving the nation  Changing opportunity structures  Understand the importance of history  Challenge the narrow focus on the individual  Expose the myth of meritocracy  Acknowledge existence of systems and structures  View systems and structures as modifiable  Break down barriers to opportunity  Build bridges to opportunity  Transform consumers to citizens  Intervene on decision-making processes  Valuing all people equally  Break out of bubbles to experience our common humanity  Embrace ALL children as OUR children

47 ICERD: International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination  International anti-racism treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in  US signed in 1966  US ratified in 1994  2 nd US report submitted to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in /cerd_c_usa6.doc

48 CERD Concluding Observations  14-page document (8 May 2008) available online  Concerns and recommendations  Racial profiling (para 14)  Residential segregation (para 16)  Disproportionate incarceration (para 20)  Differential access to health care (para 32)  Achievement gap in education (para 34)

49 For more information please contact Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA Telephone, CDC-INFO ( )/TTY: Web: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD 1600 Clifton Road NE Mailstop E-33 Atlanta, Georgia (404) phone (404) fax Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office


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