Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to "attain his or her full health potential" and no one is "disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances." Health inequities and health disparities are also driven by community and environmental factors — these inequities are reflected by differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.
The social, economic and environmental factors are strong contributors to health inequities — employers must design programs and implement policies to improve where people work and form partnerships to improve where people live, learn and play. Employers that address health and health care disparities to promote health equity improve the health, clinical outcomes, productivity and quality of life of their employees and dependents. The goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate inequalities and disparities, so all can achieve optimal health and well-being.
Achieving Optimal Well-being by Reducing Disparities and Promoting Health Equity
This issue brief describes an important way the National Business Group on Health® is promoting health equity — through its annual Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award. This brief describes best practices and outstanding initiatives from the 2016 and 2017 award winners.
Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award
Recognizes companies that are helping employees achieve optimal health and well-being through initiatives that reduce disparities and promote health equity.
Accelerating Health Equity: Promoting Equitable Access to Care
Looks at health equity initiatives from two Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award winners on the importance of using demographic data to measure, identify and track disparities as well as using cultural and organization insights to address barriers to better care.
National Business Group on Health Honors Atrium Health's Levine Cancer Institute, Geisinger and UnitedHealth Group for Advancing Health Equity and Reducing Disparities
The Business Group recognized Atrium Health (Carolinas HealthCare System), Geisinger and UnitedHealth Group for their commitment to promote health equity through targeted workplace and/or community initiatives by addressing the social determinants of health and encouraging positive health behaviors.
Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® Award Program
The award program recognizes the best workforce well-being programs in the US particularly those with a holistic approach to well-being, encompassing financial, emotional, social, and community well-being.