Health Equity Research Center
To eliminate disparities in health outcomes and well-being due to race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography, sexual orientation, religion, educational level, immigration status, national origin and socioeconomic status.
The goal of Whittier Street Health Center’s Health Equity Research Center is to facilitate improvements in health care delivery and health outcomes in order to eliminate health disparities due to race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography, sexual orientation, religion, educational level, immigration status, national origin and socioeconomic status, using tools that empower communities to develop, implement and evaluate health programs through research, education, training, and advocacy and utilizing evidence-based data and outcomes to inform policy changes, funding opportunities, program implementation and practices.
The center will also focus on issues impacting Racial equity and explore solutions to address systemic, institutional and individual barriers that deny opportunities to groups based on race or ethnicity (Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, or other people of color). The difference in treatment results in racial inequities that are deeply tied to the ability to achieve health equity.
It is well understood that stress is a significant predictor of poor mental and physical health and health-harming behaviors, such as alcohol and substance use, poor sleep, and so forth. The unequal distribution of stressors is believed to be a key mechanism that explains health disparities among socially disadvantaged communities. However, researchers and communities alike know that groups such as sexual and gender minorities, women, lower-income people, and communities of color, also face another important stressor more frequently than other groups: discrimination.
The link between health and social factors—such as housing, employment, and education—is well explored in research. Epidemiologists and other researchers continue to reveal the complex, interconnected influence of non-health factors, or “social determinants of health,” on the well-being of communities.
Discrimination also exists within the larger social environment, impacting individuals’ health by denying them access to resources, dignity, and a high quality of life.