Health Equity Resource Center

Health Equity Workgroup

  • Support IAFP member needs related to education in health equity (e.g. implicit bias training, rural health equity summit/workshop)
  • Create a network of IAFP physicians committed to health equity (e.g. AAFP Health Equity Champions Survey dissemination)

Definition of Health Equity  
Purpose of this section: Clarify the term and scope of “health equity” upfront, for further discussion and elaboration through sections and links provided below

IAFP Workgroup definition: Health equity is realized when each individual has a fair opportunity to achieve their full health potential. Achieving health equity requires treating everyone justly according to their circumstances: equality is an outcome of equity. Societal efforts must be undertaken to address structural inequalities that create group-differentiated access to resources, as well as differentiated vulnerabilities to harm.” (IHI, Healthy People 2020, Race Matters Institute, Structural Competency Workgroup, Am J Public Health)

Prominent health organizations definitions 
Video Introduction:  What is Health Equity?  
Recommended Articles

Statement from the Editors of Family Medicine Journals (Oct. 15, 2020) includes a link to over 250 published manuscripts and demonstrates expertise as well as a commitment to addressing racism in medicine.

Definition of Racism:
“Americans believe in the reality of ‘race’ as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism—the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them—inevitably follows from this inalterable condition. In this way, racism is rendered as the innocent daughter of Mother Nature, and one is left to deplore the Middle Passage or Trail of Tears the way one deplores an earthquake, a tornado, or any other phenomenon that can be cast as beyond the handiwork of men. But race is the child of racism, not the father.” (Ta Nehesi Coates, Between the World and Me)
To understand racism, one must understand how it operates on multiple levels: personal, interpersonal, institutional, structural. See the graphic below, and check out this video from RaceForward.

Ways to Take Action
Purpose of this section: Results from the Health Equity Champions Survey highlighted 50+ individuals willing to partner with IAFP in a number of ways, and areas in which they want to get involved. We wanted to provide a brief overview, with easy access to further information, of tangible ways to engage in health equity work.
Identify specific need from your personal experience, or community with the Illinois-Specific Resources below

Here are first steps you can take:
1. Reflect on existing biases and privileges you may bring to the table. This may be an uncomfortable reflection, but is part of the continual process. It is ok to make mistakes as long as you are humble.

  • Attend an implicit bias training: IAFP is hosting a training in late February/early March 2021.
  • Simple reflection questions: “How do I define my identity in this society, and how may I benefit from privilege? Who is at the ‘table’ I sit at? Does it reflect the community I serve? How can I use my positions of power to make room for other sat the table?”

2. Identify one socio-economic factor that may contribute to health inequity in your community. Think about stories from your patients, or use the resources here.
3. Find your role and superpower: There are different roles that one can play to generate social change. As family physicians, we may identify the most as frontline responders and caregivers. Aside from those two roles, what are unique characteristics that you possess? Check out a full list of roles here, and examples of initial steps.
4. Join our IAFP Health Equity Member Interest Group to be connected with Health Equity champions and partake in additional discussion/workshops (more information coming soon!).
5.  IAFP Hosted a Town Hall for Medical Students on October 17, 2020. Learn more and view the recording 

Education with state and national FM Advocacy Resources:

Use your Voice: Write an op-ed and/or Letter to the Editor:
Suggested places of distribution:

  • AAFP Blog David Mitchell Social Media/Commentary Editor
  • KevinMD
  • Local newspapers (check the publication’s website for instructions on how to submit Letters to the Editor and Op-Ed and any word count limits)
  • Doximity

Tips for writing an Op-Ed 
Harvard Communication Project
Make sure you have a headshot photo to submit, if needed.
You can also contact Ginnie Flynn, IAFP Vice President of Communications, for help in finalizing your message.

Diversity in Health Workforce

Illinois-Specific Resources
Purpose of this section: Direct audience to local resources for connection and potential partnership - this is where we would especially appreciate your experiences as a workgroup and knowledge of local resources and notable interdisciplinary partnerships to highlight
Illinois Specific Statistics on Health Disparities/Structural Inequity

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • Medical-Legal-Partnerships, including those coordinated through SIU and Loyola
  • Partnerships w/other non-medical organizations
  • Statewide, inter-professional organizations

Education/Practice-Based Resources

For screening tools, see AAFP EveryONE Project.
THEN Center - The Center for Collaborative Study of Trauma, Health Equity and Neurobiology. 
Other screening tools for social determinants of health available including
HealthLeads, PRAPARE
Screening tool comparison table
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)

AAFP/National Resources
Purpose of this section: Direct audience to concentrated list of select national resources, chosen based on variety of content and potential utility to audience
AAFP EveryONE Project Toolkit

  • Implicit Bias Training
  • Practice Leadership
  • Assessment and Action (Screening and Action Plan Development)
  • Community Collaboration 
  • Neighborhood Navigator

AAFP Health Equity Curricular Toolkit 
STFM Health Equity: Goals and Resources 
Health Equity Fellowship 
AAFP Center for Diversity and Health Equity  
CDC Social Determinants of Health: Maps and Resources 
Structural Competency 

National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion Social Determinants of Health 
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Advancing Health Equity—Addressing Cancer Disparities Video

Health Equity in Rural Health
Purpose of this section: Provide topic-specific opportunities at intersection of health equity and rural health, given unique landscape and practice of Illinois family physicians
Rural Health Equity Summit: August  2021