If there is one goal all Americans can agree on, it’s ensuring that everyone – regardless of their race, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status, or geographical background – has the opportunity to achieve their best health. That, in essence, is what health equity is all about.
However, there are many social and environmental factors outside a person’s control that can prevent or limit them from achieving access to good health practices and healthcare. These obstacles include:
- Racial and ethnic discrimination
- A lack of access to quality education
- Income and wealth gaps
- Inadequate or a lack of housing
- Unsafe environments
By focusing on challenging, reducing, and overcoming these obstacles, community and healthcare organizations, along with local governments, can help all people achieve health equity.
Examples of Health Equity
There is a distinction to be made between health equality and health equity. Whereas health equality is when everyone receives the same standard of care, health equity means everyone receives individualized care that provides them with the same level of health.
In other words, health equity is when everyone has the same opportunities based on their healthcare needs. A good example would be a community health center that offers free or low-cost checkups to everyone or a clinic where a person who cannot afford care can receive free healthcare, while another person, who can afford it, may pay for the same care.
Other examples of services that promote health equity include:
- Facilities that provide health seminars and courses specific to the needs of certain ethnic communities and racial groups.
- Practices that provide low-cost services to those living in low-income households.
- Mobile health screenings help those who may not have access to transportation.
- Clinics that offer evening or late-night health appointments to accommodate those who work long hours and are thus unable to access care.
- Healthcare providers offer better education, testing, and treatment access to communities especially impacted by certain conditions or diseases.
In order to promote health equity, government and community organizations must first acknowledge and act to remove existing barriers to care. Groups that do not have health equity tend to be those that are traditionally disenfranchised and discriminated against through no fault of their own. These include racial and ethnic minorities, people who are living in low-income households, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. In particular, members of these communities are more likely to experience specific obstacles to adequate healthcare, such as low income, poor living conditions, and crime.
Most individuals cannot deal with the factors affecting health equity alone. It takes a combination of political, community, and personal efforts to gain health equity, as well as programs and professionals – like the caring team of healthcare providers at Community Concierge Care (C3 Cares) – who are committed to assisting them.
Health Equity in Washington, D.C.
C3 Cares is the brainchild of board-certified nurse practitioner Erin Athey, who was the recipient of the Johnson and Johnson Quickfire Challenge award for improving access to care. Dr. Athey has devoted nearly two decades as a clinician and community-engaged scholar and educator to treating public housing residents in the District of Columbia.
By providing convenient, reliable, and trustworthy care, C3 Cares seeks to provide the best quality care to our patients and hopes to restore faith in the U.S. healthcare system.
C3 Cares offers same-day appointments and clinical services at its on-site wellness hub and mobile pop-up locations at public housing complexes in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8. We also offer after-hours telehealth visits for patients who can’t see us during our daytime clinic hours.
Each C3 Cares clinic is overseen by a nurse practitioner and staffed by an on-site public health nurse, as well as a community health worker. We are also contracting additional nurses to help staff pop-up vaccination clinics throughout Washington, D.C. Our practice uses a state-of-the-art electronic health platform by eClinicalWorks for its in-person, telehealth, and home visits.
To learn more about our healthcare services or to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (202) 888-6440 or email us at email@example.com.Our friendly staff at C3 Cares welcomes your call and looks forward to serving you.