Our health is a product of our environment. Therefore, a healthy community should be one in which all residents have access to quality education, safe and healthy homes, adequate employment, transportation, nutrition, and quality health care. Right? Sadly, the dominant public narrative blames individuals for their poor health and renders the social determinants of healthContinue reading “Addressing Health Disparities Through Voter Engagement: A Social Worker’s Point of View”
If we take this odd year as one that is truly odd in multiple ways – not just the final digit of 2021 but in its unique position following upon a disruptive year – then we find ourselves in an odd year like no other. It is not simply the year after a Presidential election. It is a year when we are defining our new normal.
In addition to these and other top-down approaches to increasing health equity and access, we have the opportunity to empower individual patients and healthcare providers to take action from the bottom-up. Voting—and civic engagement more broadly—are viable pathways for patients and providers alike to have a voice in shaping the policies that drive inequities and create disparities in health outcomes. As a central and often trusted community touchpoint, healthcare settings are a powerful place to promote access to the ballot box. It is imperative that healthcare institutions and providers engage in concrete and sustained efforts to increase civic participation as a means of empowerment and better health.