Health equity, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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.” This means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible by removing any obstacles that might prevent it. These obstacles might include poverty, discrimination, lack of education, race, gender, and the lack of healthcare accessibility.
Achieving health equity can be difficult, but not impossible. Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) has been established at the Meigs County Health Department for many years and strives for health equity within Meigs County. Every year, this program has coordinated and funded an active living and healthy eating project in each school district. All projects are geared towards inclusion of all abilities, while providing the opportunity to make healthier decisions.
To take Meigs County a step closer to health equity, CHC, with the help of other community members recently accomplished the addition of a walking path in Syracuse. This path is ADA compliant, while providing a safe place to get active for all residents of Syracuse and Meigs County. The path provides an opportunity for residents to improve their health and is purposefully inclusive for health equity in the county. This community improvement piece is encouraged to be used by everyone.
Over previous years, CHC has promoted health equity with other projects throughout the county. Some examples include helping establish the Meigs County Farmers’ Market, playground updates, helping with both Middleport and Racine’s splash pads, and many more. All projects are geared towards easier access to healthier food options, and the ability for everyone to exercise and play comfortably. Creating Healthy Communities is one of the many programs at the Meigs County Health Department that strive for overall better health of the community, and most importantly, health equity.
For more information about the CHC Program or to join our coalition, please contact me at 740-992-6626 Monday-Friday from 8AM-4PM or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Hill is the Creating Healthy Communities project director at the Meigs County Health Department.