Health Equity

Baby visiting doctor

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 and discrimination, as well as their consequences, including powerlessness, lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care. Using a health equity perspective is based on the premise that achieving fair and just opportunity for everyone is at the core of achieving optimal health outcomes for all. This framework grounds all of our research, practice and policy action. 

Health is not merely the absence of disease or wellness, but rather a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. As such, the Institute pursues health equity in a variety of ways, including integration across institute areas. Social determinants of health, racial equity, child equity, life course, health literacy, socioecological and family engagement perspectives drive our inquiry and practice.

Our staff have a long history of applying a health-in-all-policies approach to work in critical areas, including early childhood, housing and healthy development, child poverty, schools, literacy and mental health, and family well-being, particularly for families with children with complex needs. Likewise, our work considers the multi-level and intersectional ways race, gender identity and sexuality, poverty and disability impact research, practice, policy design and application.