It’s Time Texas Discusses Health Equity in Six Words

health equity in six wordsHi, my name is Joycelyn Jurado and I am the Director of School Programs at It’s Time Texas.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the terms “health equity” and “health inequities” are defined as: Equity is the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically. Health inequities therefore involve more than inequality with respect to health determinants, access to the resources needed to improve and maintain health or health outcomes. They also entail a failure to avoid or overcome inequalities that infringe on fairness and human rights norms.

In the past two years I’ve worked for It’s Time Texas, I’ve learned how simple it is to believe in health equity, and how complex living that belief can be. I have learned that health equity work is work from the inside out: learning about one person, or one agency, or one coalition’s deep belief and value of health; listening and partnering in how that belief is lived, shared, and grows; and innovating to authentically, systematically, and sustainably serve those who have been left behind.

It’s no small task. Getting lost in it, though, could lead to burnout—could lead to losing our joy and belief. In the complexity of the concept and practice of health equity, how can we remind ourselves to keep it a simple, and therefore a joyful, pursuit?

Using our favorite writing prompt, we asked our staff to put together “six word stories” on what health equity means and looks like to them.

Here are some of their answers:

  1. Kids have healthy adults to love.
  2. A just chance at being healthy.
  3. Having access to resources for health.
  4. Opportunity for quality health without barriers.

The practice of writing down our beliefs (in just six words!) is a joyful act of recommitment. The work that goes into living that belief to make a difference can renew and restore our commitment to a better, healthier, more just world.

We invite you to share your “six word story” of what health equity means to you in the comments below. We encourage you to come along with us as we share stories (in more than six words) of our hands-on work to improve health inequities throughout our wonderful Texas state.

Thank you to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for providing us with the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) grant in order to fund our Collaborative Innovations for Community Health grantees. Please visit https://cich.itstimetexas.org/ to follow along with our grantees and see the health-equity work they’re doing to improve their communities.