Health equity is achieved within a community when every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential. This occurs when no one is disadvantaged from achieving their best health due to social position or other socially determined circumstances.
Inequities are created when systematic barriers disproportionately impact minority groups. Racial, ethnic, linguistic, and sexual minorities have been historically withheld from obtaining resources that are needed to be healthy, which is a clear barrier to achieving health equity.
In order to achieve health equity and ensure every person has equitable access to health and healthcare services, we must collectively address health disparities and injustices.
The term health disparity is often used to describe differences in access to healthcare and health outcomes between racial and ethnic groups. However, disparities exist across other dimensions as well, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.
Health Equity Data
In the United States there are substantial health inequities attributable to the constructs of race, ethnicity, gender, and geographic location. There inequities are observed for a variety of health outcomes, including the prevalence, incidence, mortality, and morbidity due to countless health outcomes (i.e. cancer, homicide, heart disease etc). Differences in health between these groups are caused by socioeconomic status, environmental conditions, community environments, variations in medical care, and many other factors.
According to the 2020 Greater Nashua Community Health Assessment (CHA):
- The Gini Index for Hillsborough County is 0.43, indicating that the highest income individuals are receiving a disproportionate amount of the population's total income.
- In Nashua, the gender wage gap shows that males are more likely to make 50k-100k, while females are more likely to make less than 50k when compared to males. Females are also more likely to live below the poverty level when compared to males.
- In Nashua, the race and ethnicity wage gap shows that 31.4% of American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 25% of Native Hawaiians, 22% of Hispanic/Latinx, and 14% of Black/African American residents live below poverty level. These race/ethnicities are also more likely to be unemployed when compared with white residents in Nashua.
- There is a 20 year difference in life expectancy between census tract 107 (downtown Nashua) and census tract 110. People living in census tract 107 live for an average of 64 years, while people living in census tract 110 live for an average of 84 years. This indicates that where a person lives is directly correlated with how long that they live.
Visit the Health Equity CHA page by clicking here.
Racism as a Public Health Issue
Throughout our nation, many states have declared racism as a public health crisis. Racism affects the health of a community by preventing some people the opportunity to attain their full health potential. As a driving force of the social determinants of health and a barrier to health equity, the Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services (DPHCS) has identified racism as a public health priority. By doing so, we are committed to prioritizing racial equity at the core of our work, advocating for policies that improve health in communities of color, and educating about the impact racism has on our community.
Refer to the 2022 Greater Nashua Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to see how the Greater Nashua Public Health Region (GNPHR) is working to address health disparities in our community.
NH Equity Google Group
This Equity List is a Google group powered by the good ideas and contributions of members of the NH Equity Collaborative. Share resources and upcoming events that are relevant to advancing health and equity for all people in NH. Join by clicking here.
City of Nashua Cultural Connections Committee
The purpose of this committee is to facilitate communication between the ethnic community and City government. Learn more and see meeting minutes by clicking here.
One Greater Nashua
One Greater Nashua is a broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals seeking to improve health equity in Nashua and 10 surrounding communities by enhancing social inclusion and integration efforts. Of the things that influence health outcomes, social factors account for 40 percent of a person’s health. If people feel more connected to their community and have better opportunity to participate and thrive, studies show that over time they will have better health outcomes and the entire community will be stronger for it. Learn more and join by clicking here.