MOBE | Your connection to better health

Advancing Health Equity in Your Organization.

By: Anjoli Punjabi, Director of DEI and Program Outcomes

I recently had the privilege of participating in a webinar entitled “Advancing Health Equity in Your Organization” alongside Pahoua Yang Hoffman, SVP of Government and Community Relations at HealthPartners, and Pearl Isawumi, Senior Account Manager of Insights at Unite Us. Together Pahoua, Pearl, and I explored what health equity is and why it is important for organizations to value, invest in, and incorporate it into their culture and goals.

First, health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Closely related to health equity are Social Determinants of Health, or “SDoH.” These are the conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play that can negatively or positively impact a person’s health. If you’d like more information on the basics of health equity and social determinants of health, I’d encourage you to check out MOBE’s Guide to Health Equity.

Much of our discussion centered around why it is important to advance health equity and included references to the definition of the 80/20 rule, in which 80 percent of what impacts a person’s health occurs outside of the doctor’s office, and only 20 percent by the health care they receive. As most health outcomes are influenced by socioeconomic factors, physical environment, and health behaviors, it is crucial for employers, providers, and other organizations to think about our surrounding communities and how we can collaborate to provide support, create access, and share information so that everyone can achieve better health.

Pahoua reflected on a time at HealthPartners when the organization looked for ways to positively influence the health of its surrounding communities and recalled the organization’s leadership asking a critical question, “What are we doing to help support our neighbors so that they can improve their own health and well-being outside the clinical setting?”

And as we continued to talk about why investments in health equity are so important, Pearl pointed out, “Understanding the needs of individuals in the community allows you to address the risk factors that impact and drive health outcomes. With this data, you can anticipate and target needs before they become costly health events.”

The message I hope to leave you with, and the biggest takeaway from the webinar, is that this work will require all of us. It takes partnerships to create, drive, and sustain positive change. Prioritizing health equity and including it in the mission of your organization is a fresh but vital approach and one we at MOBE are proud to help support.

Click here to watch the webinar, “Advancing Health Equity in Your Organization” in its entirety.

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