Working Together to Build Healthier Communities
What are Health Disparities?
Health disparities refer to the inequities that exist among various segments of the population that put them at greater risk for physical and mental health problems, or reductions in the quality of their daily lives. Health disparities result in premature illness and death, as well as poor quality of life.
Empirical evidence continues to highlight that marginalized groups often face disproportionately higher health disparities.
What is Health Equity?
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) notes “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”
The Healthy People initiative by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which sets national health benchmarks and objectives, further notes health equity as key component of Healthy People 2030’s foundational principles.
What we do?
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) is an active research center at CSUSB with emphasis on addressing the various determinants of health and well-being, especially among the most vulnerable. CHE also launched two mentorship programs, Pathways to Student Research Internship Program and Health Equity Internship Program, to provide students hands-on research experience in health disparities, with the latter focused on applied research. CHE also hosts an interdisciplinary Certificate program in Health Equity.
Since 2017 alone, CHE’s collaborative faculty teams have published over 18 peer-reviewed publications, on various topics, including: veterans’ health disparities, food insecurity among college students, vaccine compliance, etc.
Statement from the Center for Health Equity on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Center for Health Equity stands in solidarity with our Black community, students, staff, colleagues, and supports #BlackLivesMatter. As a center, which aims to promote health equity in our society, it is our responsibility to take a clear stand in our actions to address disparities faced by marginalized groups. We believe that all actors of our community have the power to promote equity.
As such, following are some of the actionable steps that the Center for Health Equity aims to continue to take in order to achieve such a goal. We look forward to an open dialogue with members of the campus community in achieving such steps:
- Implement an intentional recruitment strategy of diverse scholars to the Center who actively focus their research on social justice.
- Promote of scholarship that address the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, sexual/gender minority status, religion, disability, etc., thus highlighting the complex experiences of marginalized groups.
- Establish of a Center for Health Equity YouTube channel and newsletter to invite key leaders and advocates of inclusion.
- Support mentorship of underrepresented student scholars with research focused on health disparities and social justice.
- Actively involve community perspectives in the research questions asked and how they are approached.
- Widely disseminate our research to the community in order to generate ongoing dialogue and action.
- Seek funding support to promote above-mentioned initiatives.
- Establish and sustain an external advisory board to provide perspective and accountability of implicit biases in our actions and decisions.