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What is health equity?
To the Health Care Authority (HCA), 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. Health equity is a core value of HCA.
Our language is based on Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s definition of health equity.
Why does health equity matter?
We all have a part to play in advancing health equity. When we recognize that health inequities exist, we can work to address them.
What is HCA doing to advance health equity?
Our vision is that HCA employees embody a culture in which we openly recognize health inequities and are empowered to work together, and with the people we serve, to reduce inequities through fair and equitable distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.
Current health equity work
Health equity liaison role and liaison committees
Health equity liaisons play a key role in advancing HCA's goal of exemplifying a culture of health equity. They serve as a bridge and help connect our health equity work across the agency. As part of their work, liaisons serve on committees that focus on:
- Creating a database of health equity projects/efforts
- Developing agency-wide health equity training
- Applying a health equity lens to our work
- Developing a process for which to share health equity efforts across the agency
Health Equity Spotlight
HCA launched the Health Equity Spotlight, a monthly feature that recognizes an individual, program, or effort at HCA that is advancing health equity. We hope to share our spotlights on the HCA Connect blog, HCA Connect Medium, and other platforms in 2022.
- Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs)
- Department of Health's health equity page
- Executive Order 17-01: reaffirming Washington’s commitment to tolerance, diversity, and inclusiveness
- Statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (Office of Financial Management)
- Office of Minority Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Washington State Office of Equity
- Washington Tracking Network tool for information on health disparities
- "What is health equity?" video from the Health Equity Institute explains how social, economic, and environmental conditions can create health inequities.