Community Health Disparities
Health Disparities Definition
Health disparities are often defined as disproportions between different races/ethnic groups and different levels of socioeconomic status, but these are not the only ways in which disparities can occur. Health disparities are also experienced by individuals who are disproportionately affected by access to quality health care, physical environment and quality of life.
Why Address Health Disparities?
It has been shown that one-forth of a person’s health outcomes are affected by personal lifestyle choices and one-fifth are affected by direct medical care. The rest (more than half) of a person’s health outcomes likely stem from factors in the social and built environment. Individuals often do not have control over these influences, and they are worsened by the existence of health disparities.
Health Disparities and T-SCORE
T-SCORE professional development strives to enable teachers to use authentic tools in their lessons to connect students with the health realities of their communities and to provide them with knowledge and tools to help improve health outcomes across counties and in their particular neighborhoods.Through T-SCORE’s efforts to facilitate innovative science educational opportunities among underrepresented and minority students, we are hoping to see these disparities reduced and eventually erased.
Resources to learn more about Health Disparities in Kansas:
- County Health Rankings and Roadmaps - Building a culture of Health, County by County.
- County Health Rankings Website
- Kansas County Health Rankings PDF
T-SCORE Mini-Unit on Health Disparities
The Introduction to Health Disparities “mini-unit” created by the T-SCORE team is geared towards health disparities in Kansas, with a particular emphasis on Wyandotte County. However, materials can be adapted for any region using the County Health Rankings Website.
Environmental factors have a bigger impact on health than we could possibly imagine.
Over three years of intensive study, the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County has uncovered massive opportunities in creating/sustaining health equity among a large section of our community. Historical property value discrimination (through redlining in the 1930’s) has snowballed over time into our neighborhoods suffering from inadequate housing, lack of access to adequate health care, and environmental health injustices.
But we can change that.
By identifying the factors that have created these problems, we can target the opportunity areas and begin repairing the damage. Wyandotte County is a proud community. Working together, we can help restore our homes, create awareness of health care solutions, and begin to work toward sustained improvement in our lives.
- We Are Wyandotte – HEAT Report: The results from this 3 year study on race, inequity, poverty, and neighborhoods as well as the We Are Wyandotte video series and other information can be found at www.WeAreWyandotte.com
- Wyandotte Daily – News Article: “Study finds significant differences in health care in Wyandotte County.” Links: T-SCORE’s coverage and the original article
This project was supported by the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) under Award Number R25OD020214. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
For more information, go to the SEPA T-SCORE Project Page.