MOUNT VERNON – During its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Knox County Board of Health unanimously approved a statement on health inequity that had been under discussion since late last summer.
Titled Health Inequity is a Public Health Crisis, the statement was first introduced by Health Commissioner Julie Miller in August. After much discussion, a committee of board members was formed who then developed a revised statement incorporating additional local data and board member suggestions.
“Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy,” said Miller. “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.”
By issuing the statement, Knox Public Health joins hundreds of other local health departments throughout Ohio and the U.S. in acknowledging that health inequity, race and socio-economic gaps increase the risk of poor health.
The statement also reinforces the agency’s commitment to improving these conditions and thus improving health outcomes for community residents.
“Health equity means increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who we are, where we live, or how much money we make,” said Miller. “To be healthy, people not only need to have access to quality healthcare, but also access to good jobs, transportation and schools and, safe, affordable homes.”
A copy of the board’s statement on health equity can be found here (click to see both pages):