This 12 months’s launch of the U.S. Information & World Report Healthiest Communities rankings provides an insightful take a look at the state of well being fairness in our nation. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced mild to the well being inequities that underserved communities have skilled for many years, and the fact is that well being inequity is an American disaster.
Now greater than ever, we have to tackle social determinants of well being and create a extra equitable well being care system that focuses on investing in our native communities. It should take stakeholders from throughout the well being care spectrum to remove well being disparities.
Recognizing the Intersection Between Well being Fairness and the Surroundings
Added this 12 months to tell the rankings are information factors that spotlight the dangers pure hazards, together with these tied to local weather change, pose to the well being of our communities. A U.S. News analysis alongside the rankings reveals the upper ranges of danger confronted from these hazards by marginalized communities, underscoring the consequential well being impacts that may end result from publicity to phenomena like warmth waves, flooding and wildfires.
Indigenous persons are probably the most in danger from pure hazards in the US, in line with the evaluation, whereas Black People are extra in danger from warmth waves, hurricanes, tornadoes and coastal flooding than some other demographic group.
In the meantime, city communities proceed to have worse air high quality than rural communities. Analysis additionally has proven that communities of colour usually tend to be impacted by noise air pollution, in addition to face publicity to hazardous waste and chemical compounds. These kinds of points are related to worse well being outcomes and decrease life expectations.
CVS Well being acknowledges that the well being of all individuals is inextricably linked to the well being of the planet. That’s why we’re taking a detailed take a look at the intersection of well being fairness and sustainability and figuring out steps we are able to take on the native stage to assist create a extra equitable and sustainable world.
Advancing Well being Fairness
Addressing well being fairness is nothing new to CVS Well being. We’ve traditionally had an area presence in underserved communities throughout the nation, offering handy entry to well being care via our CVS Pharmacy places. Through the pandemic, we labored throughout our companies – and with our community of community-based leaders and nonprofit organizations – to concentrate on addressing inequities associated to COVID-19 vaccine entry and training in weak communities, with a selected concentrate on Black and Hispanic populations. In 2021, we administered greater than 32 million COVID-19 exams and 59 million COVID-19 vaccines.
We all know there’s extra work to be carried out in advancing well being fairness. As a well being care innovation firm that touches greater than 100 million individuals throughout our traces of enterprise, we are able to enhance the trajectory of equitable well being take care of individuals in America.
We’re participating with communities to know what their particular wants are and dealing with them to develop interventions and applications that meet these wants. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Via our Health Zones initiative, we’re offering concentrated native investments designed to scale back well being disparities and advance well being fairness in traditionally underserved communities throughout the nation by addressing key social determinants of well being.
Addressing a Key Barrier to Bettering Well being Outcomes
Equitable entry to reasonably priced housing serves as one of many biggest boundaries to enhancing well being outcomes. Healthiest Communities information reveals renters in city communities are spending at the least 30% of their earnings on housing at increased charges than in rural ones, and eviction charges are increased as nicely.
CVS Well being is addressing housing insecurities and selling neighborhood well being enchancment in weak populations throughout the nation. Once we make investments in native communities, we’re capable of create a significant affect and assist extra individuals reside more healthy lives and attain their full potential.
In 2021, we reaffirmed our dedication to addressing housing insecurities and rising entry to well being care companies in underserved communities by investing $185 million in reasonably priced housing in 2021. These investments are supporting the event and rehabilitation of greater than 6,570 reasonably priced housing models in 64 cities throughout 28 states and Washington, D.C.
Creating More healthy Outcomes Via the Energy of Collaboration
We all know that we have to tackle the underlying causes of well being disparities – together with racism, sexism and ageism – so as to really transfer the needle. We all know that nobody particular person, group or entity can do that alone. The non-public sector, employers, governments, hospitals, well being care staff – everybody has a job to play.
The true measure of success can be after we see progress from collaborations that tackle social determinants of well being and cut back inequities. By working collectively, we can be a catalyst for change and make a long-lasting affect on the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the nation.