Advancing Health Equity in New Orleans: Building on Positive Change in Health

Danielle Broussard (Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies) Lisa Richardson (Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies) Maeve Wallace (Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine) Katherine Theall (Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine)

Published: May 30, 2018

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Health equity cannot be achieved until there are deliberate and sustained efforts to address the root causes of inequities. This brief explores some of the historical roots of health inequities in New Orleans, from lack of access to health care, to poorer quality of care, and to factors such as housing, exposure to toxins, and poor job opportunities. City leaders and advocates can begin to close the gaps caused by historical inequality and build pathways of opportunity to optimal health and well-being for all people who call New Orleans home.

Introduction

Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health and well-being for all people. It requires efforts to ensure all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives.1 Conversely, health disparities are avoidable differences in health that are the result of unequal distributions of social, economic, and environmental factors. Examples include wealth, income, safe housing, quality education and quality health care – all of which influence health from an early age.2 Moreover, health is a determining factor in many people’s ability to work or work consistently3 and, as such, health equity contributes to the overall productivity of a region.

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Citations and sources can be found in the PDF copy of the report.

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