Health Equity argues that being healthy is not always a choice or behavior, but rather a part of the Social Determinants of Health.


The tale of two zip codes

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

Conditions (e.g., social, economic, and physical) in these various environments and settings (e.g., school, church, workplace, and neighborhood) have been referred to as “place.” In addition to the more material attributes of “place,” the patterns of social engagement and sense of security and well-being are also affected by where people live. Resources that enhance quality of life can have a significant influence on population health outcomes.

Choice Behavior Culture Infographic

What is Health Equity?

When every person has the opportunity to realize their health potential — the highest level of health possible for that person — without limits imposed by structural inequities. Health equity means achieving the conditions in which all people have the opportunity to attain their highest possible level of health (Minnesota Department of Health).

Health Equity Data Analysis

As part of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), Meeker McLeod, Sibley (MMS) Healthy Communities helps make healthy choices possible for all. MMS Healthy Communities aims to reduce health disparities between groups and thereby advance health equity. Throughout the fall of 2016, MMS staff conducted a Health Equity Data Analysis to document health inequities and their root causes as a first step towards addressing health inequity within the region.

HEDA Summary

Health Equity Toolkit