Health is inextricably linked to human rights and the societal conditions in which people live, learn, and work. From this perspective, health disparities—the elevated incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions among specific population groups—are the result of social inequalities, such as poverty and discrimination. While individual-level factors, such as medical care and health behavior, are important contributors to health status, they must be conceptualized within their broader social, cultural, political, and economic contexts.
Following in the legacy of Dr. Jonathan Mann, the Drexel School of Public Health has embraced this perspective through applied research, policies, practice, and education to reduce health disparities and improve the health of society’s vulnerable populations. The Center for Health Equality is the embodiment of this commitment.
The mission of the Center for Health Equality is to serve as an informational resource and source of expertise to inform health disparity reduction initiatives in Philadelphia and across the nation. To this end, the goals of the Center are to:
Serve as a portal to health disparities research and expertise among faculty in School of Public Health;
Facilitate collaboration between the School of Public Health and communities, foundations, and government to reduce health disparities;
Convene educational forums on health disparities; and
Disseminate news and research on health disparities to a diverse audience of stakeholders.
Through these activities, the Center strives to enhance research on the relationship between societal conditions and health status, advance policies which promote the pre-conditions which all people need to be healthy, inform practice and programs targeting health needs of marginalized populations, and support education to foster the development of innovative strategies to reduce health disparities.