Advancing Health Equity is a long-term goal of the National Association for Chronic Disease and Disability (NACDD). This goal is grounded in social justice and recognizes that economic and social factors impact people’s health and promote health disparities. The association brings together health promotion and chronic disease prevention practitioners through Health Equity Council to address health disparities.
CVS Health is committed to preventing chronic disease and health equity advancement, and it is taking action to do so. In addition to investing in programs that address these issues, the company has launched the “Health Zones” initiative. Through this program, CVS supports high-risk communities and integrates six critical social determinants of health. To date, the company has launched these initiatives in five markets nationwide and is working with trusted national and local partners to help communities thrive.
The company is expanding its health equity efforts and targeting diseases disproportionately affecting people of color. For instance, it plans to double the number of sickle cell patients taking hydroxyurea, a low-cost medication that helps reverse the effects of sickle cell disease. The company also plans to increase these patients’ adherence rates and increase the number of people screened for risk factors for the disease.
CDC’s Community Health in Action website
A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity describes how to advance health equity. This guide emphasizes policy, environmental, and systems improvements. It provides direction for both people who are unfamiliar with these ideas and those who have already started promoting equity in the workplace.
Chronic disease has an enormous impact on the quality of life and healthcare costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s NCCDPHP webpage provides an overview of chronic disease and its costs, prevention methods, and surveillance systems. This information is crucial for rural communities with lower health resources and often higher rates of chronic disease.
CDC’s CDC Health Equity Council
The CDC is taking action to improve health equity for all Americans. It is transforming its public health surveillance, research, and implementation science efforts by incorporating health equity into its work. The CDC Health Equity Council (OMHHE) will help CDC program directors and managers integrate health equity into their work. They will also develop evidence-based strategies and guidance for implementing them in diverse communities.
The CDC has faced several challenges in recent years. Despite its role as a key U.S. agency in addressing pandemics, its work has been hindered by political disagreements and poor communications with the public. As a result, the CDC has come under heavy fire for its inability to develop a diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus and to implement state and local guidelines on protecting children. It has also received criticism for failing to share its best practices with the public.
Mobile Health Units
Advancement of health equity and prevention of chronic diseases through mobile health units has become a top priority for CVS Health. The mobile units have become essential tools in improving health outcomes in rural and underserved communities. As the company plans to expand its free Project Health services in 14 additional markets by 2021, it has committed to adding four new mobile units to its fleet and hosting over 1,700 screening events. These screenings provide patients with a basic understanding of their physical health and help prevent costly chronic diseases.
The advancement of health equity and prevention of chronic diseases through mobile health units is an integral part of the broader public health and social policy agenda. Rural areas are often plagued by a variety of barriers to health care, including a lack of affordable and accessible options. Advancement of health equity and prevention of chronic disorders through mobile health units can help address these obstacles and improve access to health care. By reducing socioeconomic and geographic barriers, rural communities can benefit from more affordable access to health care and more excellent quality care.
Smoking Cessation Programs
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCN) works to reduce tobacco use and advance health equity through evidence-based interventions to help people quit. These programs promote quitting among youth and adults and help communities eliminate secondhand smoke. They also identify and eliminate commercial tobacco-related inequities.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States, but its effects are disproportionately felt in the Black community. Black people are more likely to die of smoking-related illnesses than white people and face additional barriers to quitting. However, with the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 29, 2022, there are new opportunities to help people stop smoking.
Tobacco use is a public health concern, particularly in rural areas. However, the health of rural residents varies widely. For example, 74.9% of residents in rural areas are nonsmokers compared to 76.5% in urban areas. In addition, smoking affects reproductive health in both males and females and contributes to health disparities in communities where tobacco use is prevalent.