Health Equity

Public Health operates on a key principle: that everyone should be able to access good health services, employment income, housing and education in a community where they can make healthy lifestyle choices.

These are called the social determinants of health. They impact an individual’s health as strongly as biology and genetics.

“Research shows that the unequal distribution of wealth equals the unequal distribution of health.” - Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

In other words, health – or the lack of it – can be influenced by the opportunities each of us has.

These opportunities are not random. They are based on socioeconomic patterns that can deny someone good health and result in greater health care costs for the community.

We feel so strongly about reducing health differences between populations that we made health equity a key direction in our Strategic Plan.

Public Health is engaged at the municipal, provincial and federal levels to influence factors in our society that impact health. We work closely with community partners on research, policy changes and developing new programs and interventions to make big impacts at the local level.

We base our conclusions on fact, not hunches or ideology. We study the whole population to understand patterns of health and the factors that impact it. Then we are able to consider the best interventions for a given community to improve health outcomes for people living there.

Some of the ways we’re working “upstream” to influence the social determinants of health and give everyone the opportunities they need to be healthy include:

For more information, contact Jennifer MacLeod, Manager of Health Analytics and Health Promotion, at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4370.