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There are a lot of terms used when talking about equity, so here's what we mean when we use these words.
Our health is far more than healthcare and our individual health behaviors. Social determinates of health are the conditions in which people are born, live, work, play, worship and age. The choices we make depend on the options that are available and accessible. They are commonly grouped into 5 categories: Economic Stability, Education Access, Health Care Access, Neighborhood and Built Environment, and Social and Community Context.
Nuestra salud es mucho más que la atención médica y nuestros comportamientos de salud individuales. Los determinantes sociales de la salud son las condiciones en las que las personas nacen, viven, trabajan, juegan, adoran y envejecen. Los determinantes sociales influyen en las opciones entre las que debemos elegir en conjunto. Por lo general, se agrupan en 5 categorías: Estabilidad económica, Acceso a la educación, Acceso a la atención médica, Vecindario y entorno construido, y Contexto social y comunitario.
Summary: We are currently working on a two part project that will look at the root causes of the differences in outcomes experienced in the Black community in Frederick as it relates to maternal child health. First, there will be a health disparity study that takes a deep dive to develop a profile on the Black woman in Frederick county. This time will be spent understanding the story and lives behind the numbers, working to look into more than just the healthcare experience (although that is important), and include other social determinants of health. The second phase will use the information from the profile to identify and develop solutions based on the findings of the health disparity study. It is important to note that both phases will be guided, and in many ways lead by a Community Advisory Board (CAB). This will incorporate the language, experiences, and ideas of those who are experiencing the current conditions and will most benefit from improvements.
Current stage: CAB recruitment is closed and facilitators are currently reviewing applicants.
What's next? CAB will begin meeting in September and will work through a series of actions such as reviewing county trends and really taking time to understand the story and lives behind the numbers. Giving power to, and strengthening the voices in the community, while creating a profile of the personal experiences related to maternal and child health has the potential to identify risk factors and issues that are being missed. We are excited because this is not a typical study. This is a community based, participatory action project with the community in the lead. We are not just characterizing the state of the evidence, we are bringing lived experiences together to see where their perceptions align with the data. We’re conducting this study as a call to action to rally around an issue that is a matter of life and death, of surviving or thriving for everyone in our community but especially for Black women.
Having COVID-19 clinics in a variety of locations around Frederick County is one way that we try to have equitable access to services. Current COVID-19 vaccination clinic locations can be found here. Testing information is available here.
We want to hear from you! If you have ideas of things for us to focus on, or want to work or volunteer with us, please email us at HSDEquityOffice@frederickcountymd.gov.