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Health Equity and Livable Communities

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Health Equity 

Poor health outcomes for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are apparent when comparing their health indicators to Florida's general population.
These minority populations experience higher rates of illness and death from health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, specific cancers, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, mental health, asthma, hepatitis B, and obesity.

  For Every Newborn, There is One Mother  For Every Newborn, There is One Mother
According to the CDC, U.S. mothers who are black are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from complications related to childbirth than mothers who are white—regardless of income, geographical location or relative health.

The Definition of Health Equity

Health equity: Health equity is attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.

Effective July 1, 2021, The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity are required to develop and promote the statewide implementation of certain policies, programs, and practices that increase health equity in this state with the resources and funding available to them. One representative from each county health department will serve as a minority health liaison. For more information and additional resources, follow the links below.

Social Determinants of Health 

Social determinants of health (SDOH) have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life. Examples of SDOH include:Social Determinants of Health

  • Safe housing, transportation, and neighborhoods
  • Racism, discrimination, and violence
  • Education, job opportunities, and income
  • Access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities
  • Polluted air and water
  • Language and literacy skills

SDOH also contribute to wide health disparities and inequities. For example, people who don't have access to grocery stores with healthy foods are less likely to have good nutrition. That raises their risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — and even lowers life expectancy relative to people who do have access to healthy foods. We also know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health. Differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education. By applying what we know about SDOH, we can not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity.

Livable Communities  

As the population of the United States ages and people live healthier, more active and longer lives, communities must adapt. Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages.

Every person should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. Yet, the environments in which we live can favor health or be harmful to it. Environments are highly influential on our behavior, our exposure to health risks (for example air pollution, violence), our access to quality health and social care and the opportunities that ageing brings.

Live Well Age WellLivable Communities is about creating the environments and opportunities that enable people to be and do what they value throughout their lives. Everyone can experience healthy ageing.

A Health of Older Adult workgroup was established. The workgroup’s goal is to increase capacity for older adults to age in place safely and comfortably with appropriate resources in a livable community. The strategy to achieve this goal is for Collier County to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. As the Collier Age-Friendly initiative progressed, it became clear that Age-Friendly is “For all Ages and Every Stage of Life”.

AARP Collier County Florida Throughout 2020, the Health of Older Adult workgroup worked on the application process to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The application and letters of support were routed to the Board of Collier County Commissioners for support of Collier County joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

On June 14, 2020, The Board of County Commissioners of Collier County passed Resolution 2020-117, to support membership into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The Health of Older Adult workgroup submitted the Collier County application to AARP and in September 2020, Collier County was accepted into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The Leadership Coalition on Aging (LCA) is the lead organization for the Age-Friendly Initiative.

Age-Friendly Collier Action PlanAge-Friendly Collier Action Plan was completed in October 2023 and is published on the Age-Friendly Collier website linked below. Collier County along with many states, counties, and cities who are enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities used the 8 Domains of Livability framework to develop their respective action plans. This framework is used to improve the quality of life for all residents. By focusing our efforts to improve the 8 Domains of Livability in Collier County, the social and economic barriers to health will be reduced.