What does race have to do with health?

In Pinellas County Florida, race is the greatest determinant of differential health outcomes from one part of the county to another and from one community to another. Life spans in one zip code to another can differ by as much as 15 years. And we know that our neighborhoods and opportunities and resources are deeply and historically segregated by race.

Health equity means that everyone can attain their highest level of health, free from avoidable and unfair differences and barriers such as racial discrimination. If we want a healthier community, we must strive for a more just and equitable one—beginning with race equity.

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of a person’s health is impacted by things in their environment that are unrelated to medical care. These conditions are known as the social determinants of health—things like education, food and nutrition, safety and justice issues, the environment.

The Foundation uses a social determinants of health framework to improve population health and achieve equitable health outcomes throughout the geographic area we serve. By paying attention to the root causes of inequality in our community, the Foundation is able to target investments, convening, policy and communications work where they can have the greatest impact.

As part of our mission, the Foundation will work to raise community awareness about health equity—what it means, why it matters and how we can work together to achieve it.

Because change only happens when we take action.

Learn more about the Social Determinants of Health.

We created this video to explain our focus on health equity in Pinellas County: