The Academy believes that all people should attain the highest level of health. This includes the capacity to heal and to function within the contexts of family, community, and environment. Numerous social, genetic, and environmental factors influence health to varying degrees, and an individual's health is not measured simply by the absence of disease. Unfortunately, research clearly shows and documents the greater burdens of illness, disease, and death experienced by racial and ethnic minorities in this country.
Addressing health inequity is important not only from an equity standpoint but also for bettering health more broadly by improving overall quality of care and population health. Additionally, health disparities are costly. Analysis estimates that disparities lead to approximately $93 billion in excess health care costs and $42 billion in lost productivity each year as well as economic losses due to premature deaths.
Family physicians can mitigate health inequity, including systemic racism, by collaborating with community stakeholders to affect positive change for the populations they serve.
The Academy is committed to developing strategies that promote health equity through identifying and incorporating social determinants of health in all health care delivery systems — with the goal of prioritizing preventive health and management of chronic conditions.
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