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Health Equity and Resource Opportunities

team workA growing collection of research suggests that social determinants of health have a profound effect on the health status of a population. Simply, those with lower incomes and lower education levels tend to have lower life expectancies and typically are a much higher risk for the leading causes of morbidity (Social Determinants of Health:  The Solid Facts, 2nd Edition, World Health Organization, 2003).

Fortunately, because social determinants of health are societal conditions that affect health, they can potentially be altered by social and health policies and programs. Three broad categories of social determinants are social institutions--including cultural and religious institutions, economic systems, and political structures; surroundings--including neighborhoods, workplaces, towns, cities, and built environments; and social relationships--including position in social hierarchy, differential treatment of social groups, and social networks.  (Guide to Community Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  URL: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/social/soc-background.html.  Accessed on October 26, 2006.)  

Health Equity and Resource Opportunities (HERO) was created within the Community Development Service to address inequities that are a result of social determinants of health. HERO will promote active and full community involvement and build and strengthen relationships among faith-based organizations, culturally based organizations, social service organizations, businesses, community non-profit organizations, tribal governments, community health boards, community clinics and other health care providers, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  HERO will provide the opportunity for these groups to build on the strengths, assets, and resources of a community, and work toward reducing the health inequities of underserved populations in Oklahoma.  Specific areas to be addressed may include:  socioeconomic status; transportation, housing; access to health services; education and after school services; and social or environmental stressors.  

Contact Information:

1000 NE 10th Street, Room 508

Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299

Manager: Marisa New, OTR, MPH   

Phone: (405) 271-9444 ext. 56410

Fax: (405) 271-1225

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