Report of the National Expert Panel on Social Determinants of Health Equity : recommendations for advancing efforts to achieve health equity
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Report of the National Expert Panel on Social Determinants of Health Equity : recommendations for advancing efforts to achieve health equity

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      Intransigent and growing health inequities call for new thinking about the role of public health in creating the conditions in which all people can be healthy. A renewed paradigm informed by public health’s historical social justice roots is needed to guide urgent, bold actions that address social, economic and political determinants of health inequities. In May 2008, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a National Expert Panel on Social Determinants of Health Equity1 to provide recommendations on accelerating public health efforts to achieve health equity. A large and growing body of literature documents the health impact of inequities in environmental, social, political, and economic conditions, conditions referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH). The World Health Organization defines SDOH as “...the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries” (1). The conditions needed for health include education, housing, employment, living wages, access to health care, access to healthy foods and green spaces, occupational safety, hopefulness, and freedom from racism, classism, sexism and other forms of exclusion, marginalization, and discrimination based on social status. Inequitable distribution of these conditions across populations contributes to persistent health inequities. his report encapsulates the critical thinking, key arguments and recommendations of nationally recognized experts in the area of social determinants of health equity. As much as possible, the exact language and perspectives of the Panelists are retained in the report. A central assertion of the Expert Panel is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should provide national and international leadership to address the social determinants of health inequity that contribute to the disproportionate burden of disease between socially advantaged and socially disadvantaged groups. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the Expert Panel and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC. The views and expressions contained are those of the Expert Panel members and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suggested citation: Report of the National Expert Panel on Social Determinants of Health Equity: Recommendations for Advancing Efforts to Achieve Health Equity. Atlanta: Georgia. September 2009.
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