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Achieving health equity for all Americans: A commentary by Matthew DeCamara

March 13, 2022

RiteAid_Healthy_Futures_Bartrams_GardenRacial inequities and health disparities continue to profoundly affect the lives and futures of tens of millions of Americans every day. Societal fault lines based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, and other factors run through virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

Alarm bells should be ringing from coast to coast when a third of residents live in poverty in majority-minority citiessuch as Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit; more than four-fifths of Black fourth graders are not reading at grade level; and Hispanic/Latinx women are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic white women. Life expectancy spans 20- to 30-year differences within the same city, depending on one’s race and ethnicity, and ZIP codes have unparalleled consequences for one’s life opportunities and long-term outlook.

These are not just data points. Real lives and real futures are at stake. We must confront the discrimination and systemic racism that are root causes of these heartbreaking realities facing so many children, families, and communities.

We cannot achieve racial equity if we do not achieve health equity for all Americans. If we are truly committed to upholding the ideals of our nation, together we must all serve as catalysts for positive change....

Read the full commentary by Matthew DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures.

(Photo credit: Rite Aid Healthy Futures/Bartram’s Garden)

 

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