Health Equity

Social Determinants of Health

In Halton, there is a relationship between income and health. Adults are more likely to report excellent or very good health as household income increases. Adults living in lower income neighbourhoods visit emergency departments and hospitals more often, and have higher rates of premature death.

Good health is about more than having access to health care. The video Let’s Start a Conversation about Health … and Not Talk about Health Care at All shows how the social determinants of health influence our opportunities to be healthy. It also illustrates how we all have a role to play in helping everyone to achieve their best possible health.

Let’s Start a Conversation about Health … and Not Talk about Health Care at All video

Adapted with permission from the Sudbury & District Health Unit.

The Let’s Start a Conversation About Health … and Not Talk About Health Care at All: User Guide (PDF file) is available. This guide can help build your understanding of the many factors that impact health. It can also be used as a tool to help facilitate discussions with others.

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Public Health Actions to Improve Health Equity

The Halton Region Health Department works to address the social determinants of health and reduce health inequities. The department is currently engaged in the following key actions:

Data

The Halton Region Health Department uses data as an important first step to understand local health inequities. Population health reports include health outcomes by income and level of education. Due to data limitations, it is not always possible to show health outcomes by other social determinants of health. However, this still provides us with important information because income and education are linked to other social determinants of health. Reports are available at halton.ca/healthstats.

Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) tool

The Halton Region Health Department uses the HEIA tool to bring an equity lens to program planning. This tool helps staff consider the needs of priority populations when making decisions about program planning. It also encourages teams to think about ways to mitigate any potential negative impacts of a proposed policy or program.

Cover all the bases with HEIA video

This video uses a baseball analogy to explain the 5 simple steps of HEIA.

Performance Indicators

The Halton Region Health Department uses performance indicators to monitor performance and assess progress on efforts to reduce local health inequities. The health department has developed a set of local heath equity performance indicators. These indicators measure local priorities and will be used measure progress over time. Read the Health Equity Performance Indicators Summary Report (PDF file).

Staff Education

The Halton Region Health Department provides staff education. Staff members are required to participate in an education session about the social determinants of health and health equity. Read the staff education evaluation summary (PDF file).