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  • Health Equity

    Everyone deserves a fair chance to be healthy.

    Healthy choices should be easy choices for everyone in Pierce County. But too many residents don’t have what they need for their best chance at health, like:

    • Easy access to adequate housing.
    • Good education.
    • Livable wages.

    And many live in neighborhoods with:

    • Too much pollution.
    • Limited access to parks.
    • Not enough healthy food options.
    • Few social connections.

    These things can make it challenging to access healthy choices.

    “SEE” solutions: Social, economic and environmental conditions for health

    Adverse social, economic, and environmental (SEE) conditions like these create poor health outcomes. We call them health inequities because they’re unfair, avoidable, and impact some people and groups more than others.

    Our health equity maps show the links between SEE conditions and where people live. The data shows a clear trend. You’re more likely to have poor health if you:

    • Are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color).
    • Make less money.
    • Have less education.
    • Speak, read, and/or write in a primary language other than English.
    • Are LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual).
    • Immigrated from another country.
    • Live with a disability.

    Racism is a public health crisis

    Many of the SEE conditions harm Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) the most. Those groups have a lower life expectancy in Pierce County and the U.S. They experience worse birth outcomes and higher rates of diabetes and other diseases. These impacts are compounded for BIPOC with other intersecting marginalized identities, such as women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities. Good health won’t be a reality for all residents unless we address racism as a root cause of poor physical and mental health for our BIPOC communities. We must commit to justice, healing and action.

    Working together to address problems that harm everyone’s health

    Systemic racism and the SEE conditions are complicated problems. Many laws and business policies have racist roots. Racist laws and policies control and limit the rights of BIPOC people and favor white people. Past racist policies affect access to wealth and education today.

    The health inequities they cause threaten everyone’s health in Pierce County. That’s why we work with partners who want to work together for health equity and racial justice, including:

    • Community members.
    • Businesses.
    • Government.
    • Educators.
    • Non-profits.
    • Arts and culture.
    • Philanthropy.  

    Health inequities aren’t inevitable. You can help prevent them by joining us to confront racism and improve the SEE conditions in Pierce County. You can join our work to:

    • Commit to racial equity and justice.
    • Make decisions, allocate resources, and put policies in place that promote health, equity, justice, and resilience.
    • Focus and invest where the need is greatest.
    • Engage the people who are most affected to help solve problems.

    Health inequities anywhere are a threat to health everywhere. We can see this in action as climate change gets worse, for example. We need each other to survive and thrive.

    We focus on strategies that work.  

    Your race, gender, sexual orientation, whether you have a bank account and how large or small it is, where you live, and your access to healthcare should not define how healthy you are.

    This belief is at the core of our work. And we’ve developed strategies to put it into action: 

    Learn more and find out how you can work with us! Contact Health Equity Program Manager Aherlow Kasjaka.

    Read more about health equity in Pierce County: 

    Resources